October 14, 2014

Dirty laundry hampered by payment relocation

The University removed cash-to-card machines from residence halls at the beginning of the school year. As a result, students can reload their cards at locations near either the Midway Market or Maroon Market, also known as Bart Mart, in order to prepay their ID cards for laundry. The former machine is located in the vestibule of South Campus’s convenience store, while the other is located left of the Trophy Lounge in Bartlett.

The change resulted from new contracts for the library's printing service and the residence halls' laundry services, according to Jennifer Luttig-Komrosky, executive director of College Housing. Previously, students could use the cash- to-card machines to directly add money to their ID cards that could be then be used to pay for laundry and printing.

“When the old print copy contract ended at the library [in] July 2014, the vendor removed these cash-to-card machines,” Luttig-Komrosky wrote in an email.

The current laundry contract provides for two machines, instead of the previous five. Luttig-Komrosky pointed out that “the cash-to-card machines are conveniently located near residential dining commons in Bartlett (Maroon Market) and South Campus (Midway Market).” Students are still also able to use quarters to pay directly for the use of a washing machine or dryer.

Some students consider the removal of the cash-to-card machines to be an inconvenience, especially in dorms located far from campus. “It’s made it a lot more difficult,” said Zach Bradley, a second-year resident of Broadview. “Quarters are, like, a godsend now. Every time you get a quarter, people are going crazy to save them.”

The school also has a pilot program in place to accept debit and credit cards as payment for laundry services (the “Change Point” system) but it currently only runs in Maclean, Max Palevsky Central, and International House.

Luttig-Komrosky said that College Housing and Residential Services does not have plans to expand access to the Change Point system or to cash-to-card machines. However, laundry services will be reviewed and discussed at Inter-House Council’s Housing Facilities Advisory Board meetings, which begin this month.