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February 22, 2024

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    Richard Saker/Contour by Getty Images As we end Black History Month, here is one of my favorite poets, Danez Smith, who writes on intersectionality between their Black and Queer identities. At the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) conference in Kansas City, MO, I had the opportunity to personally meet Smith, and they are […]
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Spring Housing Guide

A mandatory laundry fee is just plain dirty

Last week, The BG News reported that the Office of Residence Life is weighing charging on-campus residents $50 per semester for laundry fees.

The charge would be added to students’ Bursar bills, regardless of how frequently, if at all, they use the laundry services in their residence halls.

Supporters argue people won’t have to worry about finding quarters to wash their clothes.

But this one positive step does not justify many other negatives that are tied into this proposal.

The proposed fee is a high rate to begin with, and although this may not be the intention of Residence Life, it will take advantage of the students on campus that would not generate enough laundry in a semester to break even.

According to last week’s article, students would need to do an average of two loads a week, a number that seems unrealistic to many students.

I myself only do one load a week, meaning that under this plan, I will be “donating” approximately $50 a year to Residence Life.

My Bursar bill is already high enough with miscellaneous fees and payments, and I do not want this to be added to the list.

The story also said 30 percent of on-campus residents take their laundry home and do not use campus facilities.

This plan will be charging money to students who do not even use the service, and as one of these students, I am opposed to the idea that I will be paying for something that I could do at home on my own time and at my own pace.

I prefer doing laundry in the privacy of my own home; I can have the space to air-dry my clothes and not have to confine everything to a dryer that will shrink my clothes or hang wet clothes in my small dorm room.

It’s not mandatory to do laundry in our dorms, but with this fee it almost becomes this way unless you want your money wasted.

The fees would go toward buying energy efficient equipment, if the infrastructure of the dorms could handle it.

I also question the logistics of this plan.

How many machines could be bought in order to alleviate possible long lines, and where would these machines go?

In my dorm, there is only a small room with laundry machines, and I wonder where any new equipment could be placed in the building.

Also, if this new equipment isn’t preemptively bought and installed over the summer, frustration could arise with the influx of demand for on-campus laundry services when the new year begins.

Another reason for this proposal is to make doing laundry on campus more like doing laundry at home because payments aren’t required every time.

At home, there may not be a fight between numerous people to use limited resources, and if more on-campus students do their laundry in their dorms to break even, it will be just like waiting in line at a laundromat, not like being at home.

Speaking of, this proposal could also negatively affect local laundromats.

Any students who take their laundry off-campus might stop so their fee doesn’t go to waste.

This money may help improve facilities on campus, but it shouldn’t come at the expense of city businesses.

If it is a priority of the University to eliminate the vending of quarters, it’s unfortunate that a system similar to the BG1 Card’s BG Bucks could not be viewed as cost efficient for Residence Life.

This way, students could voluntarily load any amount to a card at their own leisure and can still choose not to use on-campus facilities.

Instead, the cost will be passed on to the students, whether they take advantage of the service or not.

The transportation fees being considered for next year will likely be optional and will have a method to see who has paid the fee.

Laundry fees should be the same way.

If people don’t use the services, they should be not be charged for them.

Costs of living are rising all around campus.

Room and board and meal plan rates are rising next year, and it will be the last year for meal plan rollover.

I like knowing that I have options for my laundry, including scrounging some quarters together to do it on campus if necessary.

While this planned laundry fee could benefit students that would break even, it comes at too great of a cost to other students on campus.

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