For Mills residents, it’s not unusual to be presented with wet clothes scattered over dirty dryers and floors when visiting the laundry facilities on campus. Due to the lack of amenities available, students have admitted to taking out another’s wet load to make room for theirs when residents take too long to do so themselves.
Some Mills students are concerned with this invasion of privacy and have argued that the disproportionate amount of laundry facilities available to residential students along with the low quality of machines is unfair, considering high room and board costs.
In recent student-news digest bulletins, senior Diana Galbraith commented on the shortage of laundry facilities available in Ethel Moore, claiming that four washers and dryers can not accommodate all of the building’s residents.
“I placed a work order for the washers a week ago and heard back from housing saying that more machines should be installed over winter break.”
Ruth Sears, Housing Management and Dining Services administrative assistant, confirmed the installation of new machines.
“We do plan on getting more washers and dryers installed in Mary Morse by winter break and possibly sooner in Ethel Moore. As for Ege Hall, we don’t believe there’s any space, but engineers are looking into it,” said Sears.
Residents say the inconvenient laundry situation is not justified, considering the approximated $10,290 cost for room and board alone.
“Mills is really expensive compared to other schools, and we have way less students,” said sophomore Samantha Reyna. “You’d think we’d get free laundry as a part of our room and board.”
Scripps College, another private liberal arts women’s college in Claremont does not include free laundry services to its students. However, according to Scripps junior and campus resident Erin Carrillo, the administration does offer “free laundry” weekends and about two laundry facilities with two washers and dryers per floor.
Mary Morse Hall provides two washers and dryers for the building.
Other universities include a fixed $10-$20 laundry fee to room and board cost, while others provide free laundry services. Some schools, like University of the Pacific in Stockton, offer door-to-door laundry services where maintenance picks up students’ clothing, washes them and delivers them folded.
“I’ve never heard about anything like that,” said Sears when told of other schools’
According to Sears, Mills’ coin-operated machines are owned, operated and repaired by Coinmach, an outside vendor. Sears says Coinmach’s installation of new machines and failure to replace current ones is what has led to the inconsistencies in price and time span allotted for the on campus washers and dryers.
In both Warren Olney Hall and Orchard Meadow, the price for one load is $1.00, whereas in Ege Hall and Ethel Moore is $1.25. The price for one load in Mary Morse is also $1.00, however, the 25 cent cost to dry only provides 15 minutes, while the other halls’ facilities average about 30 minutes.
“Fifteen minutes cannot be enough to dry your clothes,” says Ege Hall resident Amanda Yates about the Mary Morse dryers. “Thirty minutes isn’t even enough. I always have to dry my clothes at least two times … and then of course it shrinks.”
For Reyna, fellow Ege Hall resident, “The price for one load really comes out to about $1.75 and that’s if you think your clothes are clean the first time around … if not, then it’s about $2.75.”
“Laundry service alternatives might be difficult since Mills doesn’t own the machines,” said Sears. “However, if there’s enough interest we can talk to Coinmach and see if something can be arranged.”