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Students complain of increased laundry prices

By jasonwtemp

Section: News

September 12, 2008

Up by a quarter, the prices of using the washers and dryers, in dorms have been raised from .75 $1. Although it has been over 10 years since Brandeis last raised them, students still find the raise to be costly, inconvenient, and somewhat unfair.

“[Doing laundry] considerably taxes on my financial resources,” said MaryCate Brower, ’10. Brower has adopted the use of a clothes line this year to dry her clothes for both monetary and environmental reasons.

Mark Collins, Vice President of Campus Operations, explained that energy prices have significantly multiplied in the past decade with water and fuel prices climbing in recent years as well.

“We’re still on the low end of the spectrum of prices compared with our peer institutions,” said Collins. Neighboring colleges such as Bently, Emerson, and Tufts all charge $1.25 to their residents for a wash. “Nobody charges less than .75. I believe this [raise] was a reasonable adjustment.”

Besides increased utility prices, the application of new technologies in recent years also furthered the decision to increase laundry prices. Brandeis now allows students to check which machines are in use by logging onto laundryview.com – a convenience installed just a year and a half ago and which is still spreading.

Laundry machines at Brandeis also allow students to use their Who Cash as an alternate payment method to quarters. Some students suggested they want even more flexibility than the use of Who Cash.

“Why can’t they let us use other forms of change or at least dollars since that’s what they’re charging us now,” asked Jared Shackelford ’10.

Another student proposed a change to the laundry system

“I know it’s still a lot cheaper than bringing our clothes to a Laundromat, but other college [students] get to do their laundry for free,” said Jess Wood, ’10. “There’s nowhere else I can really do my laundry. They’ve got like a monopoly on [the service].”

Brandeis has recognized the option of bundling a universal laundry fee into the price of paying for residence halls—which would mean free washes for students—but has not yet examined each implication of that option.

“There are a lot of variables to this,” said Collins. “[A non-resident] could potentially come to Brandeis, do their laundry here and the students would be paying for it.”

Collins also discussed issues with student preference and fairness in creating a universal laundry fee.

“We may look into [bundling laundry costs],” said Collins. “It would require a lot of discussion with the students.”

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