Residential colleges to begin offering free laundry

Emily Harris/The News
Free laundry is something Director of Housing, David Wilson, hopes students will see as a perk when deciding to live on or off campus.Emily Harris/The News Free laundry is something Director of Housing, David Wilson, hopes students will see as a perk when deciding to live on or off campus.

Story by Kayla HarrellStaff writer

Emily Harris/The News Free laundry is something Director of Housing, David Wilson, hopes students will see as a perk when deciding to live on or off campus.

Emily Harris/The News
Free laundry is something Director of Housing, David Wilson, hopes students will see as a perk when deciding to live on or off campus.

The university is changing its laundry cost policy to free for on-campus students.

David Wilson, Director of Housing, said the five-year contract of paying quarters for laundry ended recently with the current appliances. 

Kelly Tyner, sophomore from Fishers, Indiana, said she is glad the contract is up.

“It is a pain having to constantly be looking for quarters to do laundry,” she said.

Wilson said the university put out a request for proposal, or RFP, and one option was to provide for free laundry. The university took this request from the students into consideration and will proceed with the new policy change.

“We are making this change as a potential perk to provide to students who live on campus,” he said.

Tyner agreed with Wilson and said when she was in high school and looking into colleges to attend after graduation, the cost of laundry was evident among the majority of them.

Kenny Fister, college head of Hester Residential College, said the change will only affect the residential college members that live on campus. One aspect still up in the air about the change is if the housing cost will increase to cover the new policy.

  “It will be paid by housing fees,” Wilson said. “But there is not a specific increase for this change.”

The residential colleges have not prepared for the change in the cost of laundry yet. Fister said the time frame for this change was undecided due to various circumstances. The residential colleges did not begin a process before the policy was officially changed in case the time frame was later down the road.

“I will never say that things cannot change, but at least for the duration of this new contract, this is what we will provide to our residents,” Wilson said.

Steve Cohen, contributor for Forbes, wrote an article in 2012 about the expenses of college for students. He and his daughter visited colleges in South Carolina, Indiana and Maryland. He referenced laundry technology at other colleges.

“College students who run out of clean underwear today can go online and dialog with the washing machines in the dorm basement,” Cohen said. “Before trudging downstairs you can see which machines are free. You pay by swiping your student ID, and then get a text when your wash is clean.”

This technology for laundry purposes could be an option for the next policy change for Murray State in the future. By adding laundry swipes to students’ accounts, they can see part of what they are paying for within the housing fee.

“The downside to have the laundry switch to free is the laundry rooms will be super busy,” Tyner said. “It will be difficult to find an open washer and dryer.”

Cohen’s article on the laundry policy of other colleges took this disadvantage and found a solution suitable for the students.

Students with an opinion on the current policy change can voice their opinion to the housing office.