When they were freshmen, current members of the Class of 2005 paid 75 cents for each load of laundry they washed and the same amount for each load they dried in student laundry rooms. But after the second price increase in three years, they are now paying $1.25 per load — 25 cents more than last year.
Yet when it comes to doing laundry at Yale, more than the price has changed this year. A new computerized system will allow some students to check on machine availability, and another innovation will allow them to pay for detergent on-site instead of having to drag a bottle of their own to the laundry room.
Associated Student Agencies Student Manager Jonathan Pugh ’05 said officials increased the price of laundry a full 25 cents this year because using quarters, instead of smaller increments of change, seemed to be more convenient for students. While Pugh said there will be no large price increases in the “forseeable future,” he said ASA did not hesitate to raise laundry prices this year.
“The price of laundry has been increasing steadily and this price increase reflected that,” Pugh said, adding that Yale laundry machine provider MacGray Laundry wanted its clients to increase their machines’ prices.
Branford freshman counselor Casandra Rosenberg ’05, who lives in Vanderbilt Hall, said that she thinks using the laundry rooms on Old Campus is still the most convenient option for students. Rosenberg said students’ biggest complaint is that the laundry machines only accept cash as opposed to credit cards or bursar accounts.
“[The price increase] is a little bit annoying, but it’s either that or bring your stuff to a laundromat,” Rosenberg said.
Rebeca Gonzalez ’05 said she doesn’t fault the University for the price increase and the crowded laundry rooms on campus, where students congregate during peak hours, often with ample homework to occupy their waiting time.
“I think the laundry machines are overpriced, but I don’t know what Yale can do if the laundry machines cost more every year,” Gonzalez said. “And there’s really not much more space in the buildings to put any new machines.”
But some changes have been made to ease students’ lives. This semester, ASA introduced “PrecisionWash” machines to laundry rooms in the residential colleges and on Old Campus. For an additional 30 cents per load, the machines automatically add detergent. According to a University Web site, the ASA installed the machines to promote environmental efficiency — the machines eliminate the need for paper and plastic detergent containers, while reducing detergent and water consumption.
Adam Shelley ’05 said he plans to use the service after he uses the detergent he has left over from last year.
“It looks a lot easier than carrying detergent around,” Shelley said.
In addition, ASA is currently implementing a trial service that will allow students living on Old Campus to use the Internet to check for available laundry machines. It will also indicate when a load is done. If the service is successful, ASA may extend it to the residential colleges, Pugh said.
Kenya Lyons ’08 said she found the computerized laundry system much too complicated for a mundane chore. The first time she used the laundry facilities in Farnam Hall, Lyons lost money because she did not understand how to turn on the dryer using the PrecisionWash keypad on the other side of the room. She said ASA should put more detailed directions in the laundry rooms or implement a less confusing system.
“I feel like they might be better off just getting a new system,” she said. “I’ve never had a problem with the coin-operated machines.”