Students who reside in on-campus housing no longer have to pay out-of-pocket for laundry services. This change was instituted over the summer and announced at the beginning of the term.
From 2016-2018, laundry cost $1.25 to wash and $1 to dry. Laundry costs rose by 25 cents at the start of the 2018-2019 school year, costing students $1.50 to wash and $1.25 to dry. Students used Schillers––the OneCard’s unit of currency––to pay for these services. One U.S. dollar equals one Schiller.
According to Carleton Student Association (CSA) President Anesu Masakura ’20, CSA sent out a survey last term to assess the affordability of laundry on campus. Masakura said that “CSA was surprised to see that more than half of Carleton students struggled to wash their clothes on a regular basis.”
In response to the survey, CSA “established and charged the CSA Laundry Working Group with the mandate of finding sustainable ways to address the need” for affordable laundry. “We also engaged Dean Livingston on how the College could help us in these efforts” said Masakura.
Dean of Students Carolyn Livingston said that “There was great enthusiasm for eliminating this laundry charge based on a survey that CSA distributed to students.” Over the summer, the College eliminated all laundry charges.
Livingston notes that “A complicating factor in eliminating this charge was the subsidy CSA received through laundry revenues.” However, CSA “agreed to eliminate future subsidies in exchange for no charges in the individual residence halls and no term charges for residences in the houses.”
Assistant Director of Student Activities Miiko Taylor said that “This year CSA helped fund the laundry that is on campus.” In future years, Taylor said that “the cost of laundry will be included as part of the room and board fee that students pay.” Livingston adds that, “In the future, we will reset the housing fee slightly to cover charges for [laundry] maintenance.”
Student response to free laundry has been overwhelmingly positive. Dean Livingston said that “I have spoken with the 260+ peer leaders, CSA and other students and there seems to be a very positive sentiment towards free laundry.”
Likewise, Masakura said that “A lot of students are obviously surprised to find that laundry is now free in all residential dorms across campus. And happy as well. You have to realize that most of them are working up to 40 hours a week in Northfield to make ends meet. With free laundry, now they have one less expense to worry about.”
Masakura said that “As peers and representatives, we are very happy about student response to free laundry. We will continue to work in tandem with them and the administration to address their needs and concerns.”