By Malika Burieva
The new school year began with an untidy load of confusion for residential students faced with a $4 laundry fee. Earlier this month, Adelphi Residential Life announced via email that starting this semester a load of laundry will cost $2 to wash and $2 to dry in newly installed eco-friendly washers and dryers. Student complaints are bubbling to the surface.
Each semester, students will receive reloadable and preloaded $50 Smart Cards. The machines accept the CleanPay Mobile App allowing students to add funds to their Smart Card, view machine availability, get alerts when the cycle is complete, and view tutorials for Smart Card machine usage.
“For about the last eight years, our residence hall laundry machines were coinless and free of charge,” said Guy Seneque, director of the Office of Residential Life and Housing. “Adelphi’s contract with our previous vendor had expired, and some of our machines were in need of replacement. Our returning residents may recall that we had some machines out of service last semester.”
The sudden change highlights the issue of access for students on a budget. Seneque said, “Laundry needs are very individual, so it would depend on how frequently a student needs to do laundry. If they wash and dry one load a week over a 15-week semester, they would spend $60 total, $50 of which is funded by Adelphi. In addition, some weeks are shortened due to holidays like Thanksgiving. The $50 credit covers 12.5 wash/dry cycles over the 15-week semester.”
Alternatives like home laundry or local pickup and delivery services are encouraged.
Even so, junior computer science major and Waldo Hall resident Chris Sciortino, said, “I live here on campus, but my home is about an hour away. After hearing about the prices for washing and drying laundry, I decided it was best for me to head home when I have time and do laundry there. As college students, we’re all on a budget and this expense seems to be a hefty one that some students have no choice but to pay for. It feels wrong.”
Earle Hall resident and junior psychology major Alexandra Campbell initiated a petition on change.org titled, “Make Laundry Free for All Resident Students at Adelphi University.”
“Adding a price to do laundry, which was previously free, is a shock,” Campbell said. “However, for it to be $4 to do a complete load is absurd. It is not the fault of the residents that the machines were already half broken when we entered the building, but it is the responsibility of the university to do routine maintenance on them to make sure they work.”
In response to learning about the petition, Seneque said, “Adelphi supports our students who choose to peacefully make their voices heard.”
It’s important to note that the Panther Pantry offers vital resources like food and toiletries for financially challenged students. Additionally, the Adelphi Student Emergency Fund assists enrolled students facing immediate financial hardships due to emergencies.