Numerous students over the past several weeks have complained of trouble with laundry facilities on campus, and the problem does not appear to have a simple solution, according to students interviewed by the Mirror.
Many students have raised issues with the washers in Solberg Hall and Bergsaker Hall which leak detergent onto the clothes, causing oily stains. The stains can be washed out, but having to add another rinse cycle is tedious work. The washers in freshmen dorms have also leaked water onto the floor multiple times, leaving puddles for people to slip in. The machines don’t always turn on, and the dryers will sometimes destroy clothes.
“I will put all my clothes in [the washing machine] and it won’t start, it’s just dead,” Grace Goble, a freshman in Solberg, said. “And the dryers are just not gentle. I have to take my nicer clothes out [because] they will make rips.”
One recurring problem students have highlighted is people taking their wet clothes out of the washing machines and putting their own laundry in, leaving the stranger’s wet clothes in a pile in the laundry room.
Hosea Kost, a sophomore resident in Granskou Hall, said that it is rude because dryer cycles are longer than the rinse cycles so the washing machines are backed up until dryers open up.
Kost also suggested that a lot of the problems stem from a lack of machines. “Augie having only five washers and five dryers for each building is kind of pathetic for the number of students in each respective dorm,” Kost said. “I have a better chance of finishing my laundry with a washboard than waiting for a washing machine at AU.”
Every dorm, from the freshman dorms to the towers, has experienced a problem with the washing and drying machines being overcrowded. Some students who bring their laundry baskets to the laundry rooms find that the machines are all filled and some loads of clothes have been left unattended or abandoned in the machines preventing other students from using them.
Some students who live in Augustana’s theme homes have laundry problems as well. Campus House does not have machines and residents have to travel to Solberg to do their laundry, finding themselves in the same mess that other students have to endure with the dorm machines.
“We are unfortunately the only theme house that doesn’t have laundry machines,” Carol Lein, a student living in Campus House, said. “We do have extended hours to Solberg, which is nice. But overall, it is inconvenient not having machines at our house.”
The washer and dryer machines have been a problem for students for a few years and are not getting any better with procrastinated maintenance issues and the increase in Augustana’s student population.
Corey Kopp, director of Campus Life, said the program was unaware of student complaints about the problems with the machines.
Students have also offered a few ideas to fix the many laundry problems.
“Although expensive, it’d be cool to see washer and dryer combos where it’s one unit that washes, drains the water, and dries it all in one bin,” Kost said. “That way, you’d be able to stack them and get at least fourteen [machines] in a room and have fourteen loads of laundry being cleaned at once instead of five. It’s costly, but worth it.”