Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
Here at Swarthmore, we use three quarters to wash our clothes and two quarters for each half-hour of drying. Where do all these shiny coins go? According to Director of Facilities Stu Hain, “the money goes into the general college fund which is used to support the operation of the entire school.” Although the money doesn’t go anywhere in particular, “it does offset other costs including the utilities required by the machines.”
While the college has discussed other ways of handling laundry in the past, “from a card system to including it in room charges,” said Hain, “Logistics and equity have been the stumbling blocks.” While laundry is one of the few things students have to pay for on campus, it would be difficult for Swarthmore to provide laundry for free, since “no matter the payment method the costs of machines, machine repair and operating costs must be recovered somehow.”
If you’re still unhappy about giving up five of your precious quarters for each load, consider this for comfort: our machine vendor Caleco serves several other schools in the area, and Swarthmore’s costs are some of the lowest. According to Hain, St. Joe’s charges $1.25 per wash
and $1.00 for an hour of drying, and Widener and Villanova both charge $1.00 per wash. Widener charges $1.00 for an hour of drying, and Villanova charges $0.75 for an hour of drying.
Socks gone missing? What about cats? Ask the Gazette at dailygazette [at] swarthmore [dot] edu.