Opinion: The Laundry Room is for Laundry, Not Socializing

Laundry is a hassle at Albion College. It doesn't have to be (Photo by Cade Thomas).

Laundry is one of many tasks college students have to keep up with. But when there are only a few laundry machines in a building with at least 200 people, cleaning your clothes can be a bit of a hassle. 

I’m in my second year at Albion College. The number of times I’ve had trouble doing laundry is disturbing. 

During my freshman year, I lived in Wesley Hall. There were 12 washers and dryers for the entire building, but students weren’t always considerate when doing their laundry. Some took up to five washers for their clothes. Others would leave their clothes laying around for hours.

I know that I’m not the only one who feels this way; many students on this campus hate doing their laundry here. 

First-year Benjamin Harkness from Eaton Rapids said his experience doing laundry here has been so-so. 

“I’ve learned not to do my laundry on the weekend because everybody does it on the weekend,” Harkness said. 

One of the biggest difficulties when doing laundry is finding a dryer that is not being used. Harkness said that even if you are lucky enough to get your laundry in the washer, drying it can be another mountain to climb.

“Dryers are usually the things you have to wait for the most because they take the longest, and people just leave their stuff there,” Harkness said. 

Wesley Hall, the building where I found doing laundry to be a massive hassle, has the most laundry machines out of all the residential buildings on campus. Whitehouse Hall only has five. 

I live in Mitchell Towers with only eight machines. Keep in mind, according to The Office of Community Living, Mitchell Towers houses approximately 233 students. 

At the beginning of the semester, I went down to the basement of the North Tower to wash my clothes, only to find that there were no washers available. So I went over to the south side and found someone using all four washers at the exact same time, meaning that after they were cleaned, it is likely their clothes then went into all four dryers. 

It was beyond irritating. I don’t understand why people use all the washers at the same time as if other people don’t need to get their laundry done. At the most, use one washer for load after load. Even though it takes longer, it’s more considerate of others who live in the same building. 

Dorms are shared living spaces and not everybody has the time to wait for somebody elese’s massive load of laundry to finish spinning. 

Others might not even have the confidence to say something when a person decides to use more than one machine. Residents with anxiety, for example, suffer as a result of others’ selfishness. Senior Ashley Rocha from Dallas said her anxiety makes laundry difficult for her. 

“I have really bad social anxiety. I hate the fact that there are always people in the laundry room,” said Rocha. “Sometimes I would wake up at five in the morning or stay up until three because I didn’t want to run into people.” 

In my experience, people tend to use the laundry room as a social area. 

I recall one time during my freshman year when I needed to get my laundry. People were crowded around the machine I was using, and one girl was sitting on top of it. That made me pretty uncomfortable, but compared to other laundry room violations I’ve witnessed, that was pretty tame. 

I once saw a couple making out on top of a dryer in Mitchell Towers. I walked in, saw them kissing, and then left the room. They paused when they saw me, but before I had fully turned my back, they started making out again. It was not a fun experience. It was extremely uncomfortable. 

Students should start being more considerate of other people when doing their laundry. The room is not a social area; get in, do your laundry and get out. 

Plain and simple. 

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