By Victoria Lewis / Staff writer
What do we want? Laundry. When do we want it? Now.
Lindsborg freshman Gracie Lambert’s latest laundry troubles in the Hutchinson Community College dorms came about on a March Sunday, where what became a four-hour laundry saga that smooshed her spirits began. Lambert, who lives in Elland Hall, said it all started when she was looking for a dryer, and actually had to go to the other dormitory, Kent Hall.
“I went to all the floors and then eventually had to walk to the Kent basement,” Lambert said.
After paying for two dryers, which did not start in Kent, she finally happened upon an open and working dryer on her third time, that was until “I come back to get my laundry and it’s still soaking wet and someone took my stuff out of the dryer mid way through (its cycle).”
In total, she spent $5 and still “had to hang my clothes in my room.”
“If we have to pay for our laundry, they should at least work and there should at least be more of them,” she said. “It made me mad because I shouldn’t have to be walking like a mile just to do my laundry.”
It’s no surprise for Lambert, as she has been experiencing issues with the laundry since last semester.
“I think this is a problem because it’s happened to me multiple times and I know it’s happened to more people since mid way through last semester to now,” she said.
For Brooklyn Downing of Olathe, it was all smooth sailing on one Sunday, until she went to put her clothes in the dryer and “the fire alarms go off, and then I come back and there’s smoke coming out of the laundry room, and so I’m like, is that my clothes? I hope that is not my clothes.”
The fire department was called to Elland to investigate smoke coming from the laundry room, more specifically Downing’s working dryer. She said that while she and the rest of the dorm students gathered outside waiting for the all clear, “the whole time I was close to tears because it was my favorite load of laundry, all my favorite clothes (were) in there.
“I was really upset, I was lucky nothing happened to my clothes,” she said. “That was the only dryer that was open, and I had to fight for my life to get my clothes dried because I’m trying to compete with other people so that I can dry my laundry.”
In the aftermath, Downing wasn’t told what happened, just that the dryer was now “out of order.” On top of that, she had to pay for the load of drying too. What’s more, Downing was let know that had her clothes caught on fire and been damaged, there would be no reimbursement.
Downing, and her friends Cierra Rivers (Lawrence) and Madyson Popp (Hesston) were all in agreement about shared experiences of paying for laundry machines that doesn’t end up working.
“It’s happened to me like four to five times and I now don’t do my laundry here, I have to drive to a laundromat to do my laundry.” Her main question for management is, “why are we paying for something that doesn’t work?” There have also been issued of people taking out your laundry so that they don’t have to pay for it. “Someone took my laundry out before it was done so I had to pay for another load and I sat out there and watched,” said Rivers.
Though issues have been reported all school year long, the issues seem to only have gotten worse since payment was required to use the laundry facilities. “I feel like when they were free they worked perfectly fine, or like every once in a while something would happen but then like once we had to pay for it, they all went to SHIT – they aren’t working, they’re catching on fire, they aren’t drying our clothes,” she said. “The washers will fill up with water and then not even wash our clothes, sometimes there are puddles of water.”
For a dorm facility has claims to have laundry equipment, a total of one dryer currently works and a handful of washers; meaning students are left to do their own dirty work and compete to clean their clothes. Improvements are expected, however, with bids being put out for new washing machines and dryers.