By Sam Bailey / Editor In Chief
Laundry day isn’t normally a time people look forward to, but the simple, yet time-consuming, task of washing clothes can be made even more stressful when using public machines.
Residence hall students at Hutchinson Community College have been using the dorm provided machines, supplied by Jetz out of Topeka, all year, and it has not always been smooth sailing.
Sophomore Taylor Meyer says her experience with the machines has been “not very good at all.”
“We are constantly having to remember which dryers will dry our clothes in order to spend the least and take the least amount of time,” Meyer said. “They are always breaking.”
Meyer said there has even been multiple times she’s avoided using the machines in the dorms at all and went to a laundromat in town.
“The laundromat is more expensive than here at the dorms, but the washers and dryers at the laundromat get the job done the first time,” Meyer said.
Sophomore Sadie Loney has run into similar issues in the past, resulting in her finding other places to do her laundry, where she trusts her clothes will get clean.
“I would love to do my laundry here because it is way more convenient, but most of the time it’s a waste of money,” Loney said. “I pay usually twice as much to do my laundry here because of the amount of machines that don’t work.”
Between the two dorms – Kent Hall and Elland Hall – there are 15 washers and 15 dryers. Kent Hall can hold 200 students while Elland Hall holds 250. This does not count any students living in Dragon’s Landing, the residence hall apartments.
Students living in the apartments do not have access to machines by the apartments themselves and have to go to the dorms if they want to use the machines.
For Dragon’s Landing resident Emmalyn Gaeddert, going to the dorms to do laundry is no small task.
“Honestly, it’s a lot of running around,” Gaeddert said. “Trying to find an open washer and dryer can be difficult at times. I live in the apartments so I drive to Elland Hall to check if there’s an open washer, if not then I try all of Kent Hall’s laundry rooms. Sometimes the machines don’t even work, but take your money anyway.
“I think if there were washer and dryer units in the apartments that would make it a lot easier for people who live in the apartments.”
Dana Hinshaw, Director of Residence Life and Student Activities at HutchCC said adding a laundry facility nearer the apartments has been discussed.
“We have talked about building a laundry facility over by the apartments, but the cost is prohibitive,” Hinshaw said.
Hinshaw also said the college does hear from students regarding problems with the washers and dryers.
“The main issue we hear about is washers not wringing enough water out of clothes and dryers not drying fast enough,” Hinshaw said. “Not that the machines don’t sometimes malfunction, but these are generally both issues when students overload the machines.”
If students do have issues, they can call the company from the 1-800 number listed in the laundry rooms.
“The operator will ask some basic questions so they know what machine is having problems and what exactly the problem is,” Hinshaw said. “They will send a technician out, usually within 24 hours.”
While this may sound like a productive system, students have not had much success calling in issues.
“I have tried to report issues by calling the number on the bulletin board, but haven’t had luck,” Gaeddert said.
Loney also said she has not had much success with reporting issues.
“I have told people they haven’t worked before and nothing gets done,” Loney said. “The dorm office knows and they always just say they know and nothing gets fixed.”
While there has been issues with the machines, they have improved over the past year. Students are now able to download an app on their phone where they can pay without finding quarters for the machines and will alert them when their load has ended.
This system should work to help cut down issues with students leaving their clothes in the machines after they have finished and the app takes away the issue of the machines eating quarters for those who download it.