I walk out of my dorm room and down the hallway to the strong scent of Axe body spray. I tune out any shouting and rap music with Khalid and Shawn Mendes playing from my headphones. A heaping sack of laundry bangs against my leg repeatedly as I walk, weighing down one side of my body. When I finally make it to the laundry room, I toss my laundry in a few washers along with a Tide Pod, and I sit and wait for the cycle to finish.
The timer I had set on my phone begins to go off, and so I make my way back to the laundry room, removing my laundry from the washer and throwing it across the alley into a dryer. I walk over to the card reader, type in my dryer number and click add time before swiping my ALL Card. I think to myself, “24 extra minutes, that should be plenty of extra time to dry my clothes.” 75 minutes come and go, and I make my way back down to the laundry room, only to find that nearly all my clothes are still damp.
I know I am not the only first-year to admit that doing laundry at college is not all that fun. It takes planning and time management to be able to fit laundry into our hectic schedules and is often the last thing on our to-do list. When I do find the time to squeeze in my laundry, I want it to be done as efficiently as possible. Time is a luxury I do not have, and the dryers on campus seem to be taking away more time than I can afford.
For one dollar, a student receives 45 minutes of drying time using the “Speed Queen” Commercial Dryers Xavier offers in its laundry rooms. However, there has not been one time this whole year that I have not pulled my laundry out after 45 minutes without something still being damp. I even try to compromise and add an extra 30 minutes, but there are still instances where clothes are not completely dry after 75 minutes of high heat.
Before I continue, I would like to make a few things clear. 45 minutes for drying is by no means unreasonable. The issue lies in the quality of dryers and their inability to dry clothes. At home, I typically spend 45 minutes drying a load of laundry, and everything comes out dry. On campus, I cannot get the same results even by doubling that time.
Furthermore, I do not expect every single article of clothing to be completely dry. I have no qualms with hanging things up to air-dry for a day. But the fact that the President of the United States can deliver a synopsis about the State of the Union in less time than it takes for my average t-shirt, socks or underwear to dry is absurd.
However, I know this problem is not unique to my dorm or to me. I currently live in Husman, but last semester I lived in Kuhlman, where the issue was no different. Clarissa Dixon, a fellow first-year, agrees, saying, “I spend 40 minutes at home drying my laundry, but I spend same amount of time here and my clothes are still damp.” Moreover, the frequent number of dryers that count down from a number greater than 45 indicates that a majority of students are using the extra time feature to try and get their clothes completely dry.
I would also like to make clear that I accept and understand this is a student-caused problem. I am sure the laundry machines on campus have been around for several years at this point and have naturally become run down through neglect and overuse. But when something is broken, the best solution is to fix it.
I believe that the new initative by the SGA Executives wherein students will not pay for each individual load of laundry in the coming semester is a welcome change that will hopefully save the added money that I am spending drying my clothes, as well as eliminate the overuse which contributes to the machines running poorly. However, making laundry “free” is also not going to fix the dilapidated quality of the current machines. I believe that a better, long-term solution would be to channel money into replacing the current machines Xavier offers.
I pay thousands of dollars to go to this university. The least I can expect is a dried load of laundry.
Alex Budzynski is a staff writer for the Newswire. He is a first-year public relations major from Washington, D.C.