By: Madeline Schneiders, Managing Editor
A longtime wish of Newman students living in the residence halls is finally coming true. Laundry is free for on-campus students this semester.
Turner Middendorf, director of residence life, said that students have been requesting free laundry for the past year and a half. He has been fighting for it since it was brought to his attention, he said. The students complained that it was hard to get quarters for the washers and dryers, and Middendorf agreed.
“We’re getting into modern times. Let’s try and move away from that,” he said.
He got permission from Newman’s administration and recently announced the change.
The quarter slots in the laundry machines were disengaged by maintenance over winter break, he said. This semester, laundry will be free because it would not be fair to raise the cost of living in the dorms in the middle of the school year, Middendorf said. Next year, however, the cost of on-campus housing will increase by $50 to cover the cost of laundry at a flat rate.
“Newman never set out to make a profit from laundry machines,” Middendorf said. “It was really just for upkeep. But you know, we wanted to come together and find a way to keep that upkeep without having to have residents pay five quarters every time they want to wash a load of laundry.”
Newman’s Student Government Association is covering the cost of laundry this semester, Middendorf said.
NU is going to buy new washers and dryers to replace those in Fugate Hall and Carrocci Hall, he said. These will not have slots for quarters at all.
The Residence Hall Association (RHA) does not plan on setting limits on how many loads of laundry on-campus students can wash or dry, Middendorf said. However, off-campus students are not allowed to do their laundry on campus.
“We are going to ask residents to kind of make sure that off-campus people aren’t coming in and using the machines,” he said.
A few students had a hand in bringing the need for free laundry to Middendorf’s attention, he said. Namely, graduate student Tyler Push and senior (?) Ian Lecki. Middendorf said that Lecki, an SGA senator, was the middleman between him and SGA and helped make the project happen.
Junior Braden Oberle is a transfer student from a junior college in Mississippi. Even there, he said, the laundry on campus was free. Last semester, he created a presentation for an assignment in his persuasion class, which asked students to identify a problem in their community and persuade their audience why a change should be made.
Oberle said his presentation inspired Lecki to pursue getting the laundry machines changed.
“I think it just kind of helped get the ball rolling a little bit,” Oberle said.
Oberle said he’s excited that he can wash his clothes for free now.
“Everybody else is really happy about it, too,” he said.
PHOTO: Thomas Ford, Guest Photographer