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About the New Free Laundry Policy

In response to some student concern with the new free laundry policy announced by Columbia Housing, The Lion reached out to Housing for comment. Read on for details on the rationale/impact of this policy.

1) What was the additional increase to the Housing and/or Student Life fee to accommodate the new free drying policy?

There was not an increase to the housing fee. This initiative was funded out of summer conference and intern housing income.

2) On average, do you expect that this policy will reduce the maintenance costs for the machines? Are the numbers on maintenances costs for the washers and dryers publicly available to the student body?

Maintenance costs are included as part of the contract for the laundry machines, regardless of how many maintenance requests made. We do expect the number of maintenance requests to decrease. Many maintenance requests are due to overloaded machines. We anticipate fewer overloaded machines now that laundry is free and students can use more machines to do their laundry without extra charges.

3) What prompted the creation of the new video on how to do laundry? Who led the creation of the video?

The majority of problems with the machines are caused by overstuffing the washer, adding too much soap, or overloading the dryer. We wanted to show students the basics of how to do laundry more efficiently. That led to the creation of this new video, which is a Housing and Communications team initiative.

4) What is the current plan for students living in 600 W 113th, Carlton Arms, or Barnard Housing?

Students assigned by Columbia Housing with a contract to live in 600 W. 113th and Carlton Arms will instead receive Smart Chip Cards loaded with a laundry allowance. Barnard Housing is not included in the free laundry initiative.

Columbia Housing’s free laundry announcement video can be found here

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