The Laundry System at Villanova Needs to Change


Courtesy of Villanova University

Good Counsel houses 240 freshman on South Campus.

Carter Smith, Staff Writer

Many students have experienced the following situation: you notice that your hamper is getting full and you have some downtime, so you decide to do laundry. You grab your stuff and trudge down to the laundry room only to find that all the machines are taken. Frustration washes over you, you yell in anger, cursing a certain administrative figure before storming off back to your dorm, grumbling along the way, not knowing when those sweaty socks of yours will be able to be made un-sweaty.

I do not understand how our laundry situation is so inadequate. I live in Good Counsel Hall, which has 60-70 freshmen on each floor, with a total of three floors. On each floor, there is a grand total of (drum roll please) four washers and four dryers. That is a jaw-dropping ratio of ~16.25 people per washer or dryer and can be significantly higher in large halls like Stanford, Sheehan and Sullivan. Good luck finding an open machine during your free time. I do my laundry at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, and even then, usually half or so of the machines are taken. 

With the size of the laundry rooms, the washers could certainly be double stacked like the dryers. In this case, there could be six washers and six dryers in each room, which would bring the machine to freshman ratio down to ~10.833 for a building like Good Counsel. This is certainly better than the current situation and would help alleviate some of the congestion during high utility times, like weekends.

The number of machines is not the only issue. The quality of the machines leaves something to be desired as well. The main issue with the washers is their size. I go through an average amount of laundry per week, and my hamper is usually three quarters full, but if you have a slightly bigger than average load, good luck having your stuff actually washed. I have had to wash things twice because they did not smell clean after just one cycle or split a single load up into two machines, which happens to cost more, but I’ll bring that up later. 

The dryers also have their fair share of issues. Even on a low heat setting, they are ludicrously hot. One gets sixty minutes of drying time, but when I show up 20-25 minutes later to take my clothes out, they are hot to the touch. But, this can be inconsistent as well based on the size of the load. If one has a slightly bigger than average load, not all of the clothes will dry. After having to check in on them before the cycle is done, one will notice that the clothes on the outside are hotter than one’s celebrity crush, and the clothes on the inside might as well not have been put in the dryer at all. This leaves one having to take a bunch of stuff out and leave the rest to continue drying. And I swear, nearly everything gets wrinkled. Strangely enough, my button-up shirts get away scot free, but my t-shirts, athletic clothing and even my pants get wrinkled by that dryer, which I have to remedy by spending half a minute fanning out or pressing every single thing by hand. 

Everything I’ve listed above balloons laundry time by an extra half hour or so. But there is still one pain point left: the cost of laundry.

Unlike printing, for which we are given a $100 budget, the cost of doing laundry comes out of our own pockets. If it were something trivial like 25-50 cents, I do not think people would be upset. However, since the cost is one and a half dollars per machine, that is a problem. If you’re a logical human being, you separate your lights and darks into separate washes, which means paying for two cycles, totaling three dollars. Then, you really only need one dryer, because it gives you a ludicrous amount of time compared to its heat output, which brings your grand total for one load of laundry to four dollars and fifty cents, even higher if you find that you need to re-wash something because it did not get clean enough. 

Out of all the things that Villanova can charge us for, why the laundry? Everybody needs to do laundry, and if one needs to do any more than a single load per week, that will be a not insignificant drain on your NovaBucks, especially when many people have a limited amount and rely on points to buy things around campus. I feel like that if we are going to be charged that much for laundry, we should have access to modern machines which actually function well and have more supply. 

If anybody with the power to fix this is reading: the laundry situation here needs fixing so we can start a new cycle of cleanliness.