A laundry machine shortage at one University of Mary Washington residence hall is showing just how important the service can be for residential students. A lack of washers and dryers at the university's Jefferson Hall is making laundry even more of a chore than normally is for students following lack of availability and hardware malfunctions.
According to a report from The Blue & Gray Press, the residence hall has only three washing machines and three dryers, despite playing home to some 82 students. The report goes on to state that the situation has persisted, with one washing machine being broken for a portion of this year and most of last year.
Last year, the basement of Jefferson Hall was renovated and in the process, cut the laundry room in half to make room for kitchen space for residents. The renovation, despite adding valuable cooking utility, also created a shortage of laundry machines and space. The subsequent machine shortage has created a bit of a logistical nightmare for residents, as the average total time needed to use both a washer and dryer takes about an hour and a half, or longer if clothes don't dry fully the first time.
Students can visit umw.esuds.net and check the availability of laundry machines in residence halls. The website displays laundry availability for every campus residence hall, and offers the option to sign up for notifications via email. The website also notifies students how much time is left on each machine.
The introduction of web portals, mobile apps and notification systems in the laundry room is a step in the right direction and a feature that many campuses are folding into their laundry services. Students, however, aren't convinced that the website and notification system will pose enough of a solution when the crux of the issue is a lack of laundry machines. The Blue and Gray report goes on to point out that with demand for the machines being so high in Jefferson Hall due to the shortage, more residents are constantly checking the web portal for open machines leaving little chance for walk-in availability.