Students feeling all washed up dealing with campus laundry rooms

While listening to music and doing laundry in the McClain wing of Hamilton Hall one day, freshman Tre Garnett heard a suspicious splashing noise.

When he and his hallmate turned to look, they noticed a bubbly puddle forming on the ground that was quickly traced back to the pipe that carried the water to the washing machine. The pipe had become partially unattached, spewing soapy water everywhere.

This was only one of many interesting laundry experiences Garnett has endured while here at the University of Oregon. On another occasion, a pipe in the ceiling of the laundry room leaked onto the couch below.

Frustrations about laundry are not uncommon.

Leah Andrews, the director of marketing and communications for student housing, said that there may be more demand than the university has realized.

“If students are unhappy and they think there’s too much of a wait, we can start looking at that,” Andrews said.

Some of the laundry machines on campus have the tendency to shake and make noise aggressively, dryers work intermittently and students can create more frustrations in the laundry rooms.

Washing machines in multiple dorm buildings on campus experience problems with shaking. Freshman Caroline Doyle, who lives in Global Scholars Hall and lives right next to the laundry room, said that the washing machine is especially annoying.

“[During] winter term, whenever someone washes their clothes it is so loud, and you can hear everything banging around,” Doyle said.

Doyle even mentioned that on a few occasions, the noise had woken her up in the middle of the night.

“There was one weekend where someone was doing their laundry at midnight and me and [my roommate] were both trying to go to sleep early that night,” Doyle said. “Then someone did [their laundry] at 6 a.m. the next morning and we were so mad. We got like four hours of sleep because of this washer.”

When a student goes to dry their clothes, they might face different frustrations. Dryers on campus don’t always fully dry a person’s clothes. Students either air dry or run the dryer again.

“It dries very unevenly. My towels are never dry when I take them out,” Doyle said.

Students have a hand in creating a cumbersome laundry experience too.

Taeya Hillman-Johnson, another resident of Hamilton, left her clothes in the dryer a few minutes longer than the cycle took, only to have someone else remove half her load and stack it on top of the dryer. The other half of Hillman-Johnson’s clothes were left in, and ran a drying cycle with the mystery person’s wet clothes.

It also tends to be a “fend for yourself” situation when it comes to the laundry machines.

“It gets a little cutthroat,” said Garnett. You have the people who will look at the time on the dryers and be like “oh cool, 11 minutes left?” and be back when the 11 minutes are up to throw their clothes in.”

Students also have the possibility of finding other people’s items mixed in with their laundry, and though instructions for how to use detergent pods are posted in most laundry rooms, the directions are not always followed, leaving detergent residue on the floor below the laundry soap compartment.

According to Andrews, services are posted in each laundry room and students can call for service if something goes wrong or if there’s an issue.

“[Maintenance] responds within 24 hours, many times [during] the same day when a service request is called in,” Andrews said.

Garnett said that there weren’t so many problems that it required a large complaint, but it was annoying.

“Will I make it through this year laundry-wise? Yes,” Garnett said. “Will I enjoy it? Not really.”

Follow Kylie Storm on Twitter: @kmstorm99

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Kylie Storm

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