Laundry rooms accept credit cards

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Photo by Andrew Goble.

Starting this term, students will be ble to pay for loads of laundry with the simple swipe of a credit card.

On Thursday, Associated Student Agencies finished upgrading all 29 laundry facilities on campus with new laundry machines that can accept credit and debit card payments. The new system eliminates a step that required students to load cash onto their ID cards in order to use the machines. The old machines also encountered frequent breakdowns, as the stickers on students’ IDs would catch in the machines and often jam. The price per load, $1.25, remains the same.

“We’re hoping that this new way of doing laundry will prove more efficient and less cumbersome with students’ own credit cards,” said Heather Abati, associate director of Student Financial and Administrative Services, which is the umbrella organization that includes Associated Student Agencies. “We have received nothing but positive feedback so far.”

All machines have been wired to an online server, www.LaundryView.com, which displays the number of machines available in campus laundry rooms.

Kalli Angel ’13 said she thinks this new feature will help her avoid needless trips to the laundry room.

“Whenever I used to go down and do a load, the machines wouldn’t be free for another half an hour, and it would throw off my schedule,” Angel said.

Logistical problems delayed the installation of the new system. Old washers and dryers were often smaller than the new units Associated Student Agencies needed to install, and some laundry rooms needed minor renovations to accommodate the upgrade. Additionally, maintenance work had to be scheduled around Yale’s residential summer programs.

Berkeley College was the last to be upgraded, with new machines up and running Thursday afternoon.

Though new laundry machines were installed in every facility before the beginning of the term, not all credit card machines were immediately functional. During the transition period machines only accepted quarters, leaving many students to scrounge for change in their first few weeks of school.

“No one likes giving quarters around here because they know why you’re asking and everyone else is asking,” said Jessica Schmerler ’15. “I had to go to a gas station just to get change.”

But others are pleased that they can choose between coins or the credit card machine.

Ryder Billings ’14 is one student who plans to use the coin option. He said he came to Yale with a large stash of change that he plans to use for laundry and “other reasons.”

“It is actually my Vegas fund from high school, so I don’t think I’ll ever run out,” he said.

Students who have still have funds left over on their ID cards from last year can have the money credited back to their Yale charge accounts, but must visit the Associated Student Agencies office in person to do so.

Abati said Associated Student Agencies will eventually convert laundry facilities in off-campus graduate housing.

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