A new Yale College Council initiative aims to keep students’ freshly washed laundry off the floor.
The program, which was piloted in Silliman College this semester, will install cubbies, plastic bins and whiteboards in every residential college by next fall in an attempt to keep laundry rooms better organized, YCC President Brandon Levin ’13 said in an email. Many students interviewed expressed frustration that clothes are often strewn across college laundry rooms, and they said they supported a system for managing clothes left in machines.
“This program was created to formalize and make easy the transfer of clothes,” Levin said, explaining that clothes left in machines can get lost or dirty when other students remove them to make room for new loads.
With the new system, students can place abandoned clothes in a basket and use the whiteboard to indicate from which machine they came, he said.
YCC Treasurer Archit Sheth-Shah ’13 said the system, which was originally proposed in October, is modeled after the one that Princeton uses. The YCC first brought photos of the Princeton laundry system to Yale Facilities last fall, Sheth-Shah said, and after receiving positive reviews from the pilot in Silliman this semester, YCC members presented the idea to individual college masters. He added that Yale Facilities is financing the initiative.
“All the colleges have signed onto this system, and now it’s just the process of having the bins installed during breaks because that’s the most convenient time,” YCC Vice President Omar Njie ’13 said. Njie added that the program has received some criticism that the bins are too small, but Levin said Silliman will soon get larger bins, as will the rest of the colleges when they are outfitted.
All 16 students interviewed, including five in Silliman, said they supported the initiative. Monica Ague ’14, a Silliman resident, said the new system allows students “more leeway” in when they need to pick up their clothing, and will also reduce the confusion that causes clothes to fall on the floor or mix with other people’s clothes, she added.
“Having your clothes fall on the floor or sit in soap spills on the washing machines when you were 10 minutes late to pick them up was really, really annoying,” Ague said.
Leah Campbell ’15, who also lives in Silliman, said she lost “a lot of socks” from people moving her clothes out of washing machines. Having a system with bins leads to a better “atmosphere” in the laundry room, she said, adding that now there is “never any awkwardness about moving other people’s clothes.”
Still, a few students complained that Yale has a shortage of working laundry machines, which the new system does not address. Others noted that some students have used the whiteboards for purposes other than laundry assignments, such as posting personal ads and other “funny comments.”
The laundry machines began accepting credit and debit cards last fall.