By Daniel Kimmer, Contributing Writer
When wanting to do laundry at Mckendree West Clubhouse, it almost feels like you have to go at just the right time to catch an open washer or dryer. There are 8 washing units: 7 top load washers, 1 front load washer, and 8 drying units inside the laundry room. Each load of laundry costing $1.25 makes it a total of $2.50 per full cycle of laundry. There seems to be a hot time to do laundry throughout the day and that time is between 4pm-10pm. Almost every time I have attempted to complete laundry in that time frame, it’s difficult to get an open washer. All the washer and dryer units seem to always be in use during those hours of the day.
A couple big issues with doing laundry at Mckendree West Clubhouse are the reliability of the units working properly, the cost of each load of laundry, the amount of washer and dryers there are compared to the number of students living at West and also the safety within the laundry room (items being stolen in particular).
Interviewing David Daniels, a junior here at McKendree, who lives at West Apartments, stated, “When drying clothes, I don’t know if the dryer is actually going to dry my clothes or just tumble them around not drying at all, I’ve had that happen to me a few times now, and it is frustrating.”
It seems to be the dryers that do not work on a consistent basis more than the washers; there always seems to be one or two dryers out of order. With the price we are paying per load of laundry, I expect the units to be maintained and work properly.
$2.50 for a full cycle of laundry does not seem that expensive comparing to public laundromats, but the biggest issue with paying that price at West Clubhouse is that we never know if the equipment is going to work properly or not. Daniels stated, “I inserted money into the washing machine before and it took my money but never started, so I had to pay twice the amount for one wash.” I had an issue with the change machine within the laundry room. It had taken my money before as well; the machine has a slot for change to make a quarter, yet as I inserted dimes and nickels to receive a quarter for laundry, it never gave me my quarter as it just took my money instead.
When heading to the clubhouse to do laundry, I don’t know if there are going to be any open units for me to wash my clothes right away or not. With there being only 8 washers and 8 dryers for an estimate of roughly 400 students living at West Apartments, the ratio seems to be a touch off to make laundry as easy as possible for the students.
I personally think there needs to be double the amount of washers and dryers than there are now. Yes, space is an issue right now, but with all the open space at the clubhouse that is not being used, it should be manageable to build a larger laundry room to supply more washer and dryer units to make students’ lives easier to complete laundry at any time of the day they wish – not worrying about if there are any available.
If students would be aware of the time it takes their laundry to be done, things would go smoother. 35 minutes for washers and 1 hour for dryers are the times to know to be ready to pull your clothes out for the next student who is waiting to use one of the units. Students who leave their clothes in the units for hours on end make it frustrating for those who are needing to complete laundry. That is where students’ properties become messed with and moved to the standing table inside the laundry room so the next student can use the unit. The maximum time span for students to remove their laundry is 2 hours, then the clothes will be removed by the next person in line for a unit.
One of the most concerning things with doing laundry and leaving your property unattended unfortunately is dealing with others damaging or stealing it when you are not present within the clubhouse. I have been on the short end of that situation with having my laundry basket stolen out of the laundry room, making it rather difficult to carry my clean clothes back to my apartment.
Since individuals are stealing property, the idea of a security camera being installed inside the laundry room itself is not unreasonable. With a camera being installed I think students will not be concerned if their property will be stolen or damaged by someone while not being present inside the clubhouse, as the room would be monitored 24/7.
Daniels had property damaged, not by someone, but by the units themselves. “My gym shorts, with strings inside the waist line, the dryer had ripped the string out and ruined my pair of gym shorts.”
I want the easiest accessibility for completing laundry at any time in the day. Right now, that is difficult to do as there are minimal washing and drying units as well as blocks of times in the day that everyone has the feel to need to do their laundry all at once and use all the units up. If McKendree made the laundry room at the clubhouse bigger, safer, and more reliable, it would make the students’ lives much easier when completing their laundry at any time in the day and not such a hassle as it is today.