Energy efficient laundry machines arrive at Lawrence

Brianna Stapleton

As soon as returning students get around to doing their first load of laundry this year, they will find something different in their residence halls: new washing and drying machines.
The upgraded washers and dryers are more energy efficient than the old machines and operate with coins rather than laundry tokens. Users also have the option to swipe their ID card and use Viking Gold dollars to do their laundry.
Students will find the new machines in all of the main residence halls, the six Quad buildings and Big Exec.
It now costs $1 to wash and 75 cents to dry, versus the sixty-cent laundry tokens available last year. However, since the new machines are more efficient, it should theoretically cost students less because a normal load of laundry will dry in one cycle.
Dean of Students Nancy Truesdell said that students had many complaints about the old laundry machines: frequent breakdowns, inefficient drying, inconvenience of purchasing tokens and long waits for repair.
“Each year on the student survey done to find out about students’ residential experience, laundry came out as the No. 1 complaint,” said Truesdell. “The desire to improve the student experience was the motivation behind the change.”
Another feature of the new laundry system is a website,, which allows students to check washer and dryer availability online. This feature is only available for the main residence halls, but it allows students to see how much time is left until the washing or drying cycle is complete.
Chris Snapp, former chair of the LUCC Student Welfare Committee, commented on the change in laundry systems. “There was a lot of expressed dissatisfaction over the old machines, specifically the fact that the dryers didn’t do a good job drying clothes,” the senior said.
“The old machines were just not really energy or cost-efficient. Also, exchanging money for tokens received some criticism. These new machines were considered to be a solution to all three problems,” said Snapp. “Although they are a bit more expensive, this improved efficiency made them worth the extra money to all of us. The final vote was unanimous.”
Some of the custodians on campus were concerned that the new machines would make their job more tedious.
“I am not really that upset about it,” said custodian Neil Freischmidt. However, when asked what the custodians disliked about the new machines, he said it was walking a long ways to wash their mops and rags–and each rag needs to be washed and dried. “This takes multiple trips, which makes it harder to complete our work,” said Freischmidt.
Betsy Winter has already tried out the new machines. “I loved just swiping my card and not having to worry about how many laundry tokens I had!” said the junior. “I’m not sure if the new dryers are necessarily faster, but I put a pretty packed load from the washer in the dryer and they were all completely dry in one cycle.”
If you have laundry tokens left over from last year and fear that you’ve wasted your money, don’t worry–you can return them to the info desk or your residence hall desk for a refund.