Get a load of this—new coinless washers and dryers were installed on the Goshen College campus this summer, and students no longer have to pay to do their laundry.
These updated front load machines are in line with Goshen’s ecological goals. They use half the water that the old machines did and require half the detergent, according to Chad Coleman, director of Residence Life.
Goshen College’s seven-year contract with ASI Campus Laundry Solutions was up for renewal this year. In April, Coleman met with Bill Born, vice president of Student Life; Jim Histand, director of finance; and a representative from ASI to discuss the college’s options for the next seven years.
The first option was to continue using the old machines. This would have involved resurfacing the washers and dryers and maintaining the coin-operated system.
“Keeping the old system in place for seven more years seemed ridiculous,” Coleman said.
The second option involved replacing the coin-operated system with ID-swiping mechanisms that would charge student accounts directly. Coleman said the group thought installing card-reading devices on every machine would be a burden on ITS.
The three campus officials decided to go with the third option: replacing the old washers and dryers with updated, green and free-to-use machines.
The decision was easy since the three contracts with ASI turned out to cost similar amounts over the seven year period, Coleman said. He hopes that the new machines will enable students to do laundry more often, since they will no longer have to pay for its services.
Coleman said that he talked about recent campus changes to parents and students during the orientation days for new students. When he brought up the topic of the new laundry machines, he said, “That was the one that got the most cheers.”
In addition, servicing the new laundry machines is much easier than it used to be. When a machine is broken, a student can simply scan the barcode with an app on an iPod or phone. According to Coleman, the barcode can instantly be sent to ASI, which will know exactly what machine needs work and where it is located.
ASI Campus Laundry Solutions is the leading provider of laundry services to Midwestern colleges and universities, according to the company’s website. Although ASI supplies services to many college campuses, an ASI account manager requested to come to Goshen College to meet with the Resident Assistants about the newly installed washers and dryers before the semester started.
This 9 a.m. meeting was supposed to be a 45-minute PowerPoint presentation on how to do laundry. “To be clear, none of the RAs wanted to go to this meeting,” said Elizabeth Franks-North, a sophomore RA. “In fact, our bosses didn't even want to go.”
However, Franks-North said that once the representative started talking, the presentation became exciting. “Never have I met a man so passionate about washing machines,” she said.
The ASI representative showed a 10-minute instructional video, talked about how the new washing machines use fewer resources and gave away items like T-shirts, laundry bags, water bottles, detergent pods and dryer sheets.
Students should note the changes in operating instructions for these new washers and dryers. “For instance, you should use high-efficiency detergent or one-quarter of the normal kind in these new washers,” Franks-North says. The detergent should be poured into a compartment in the top right corner of the washer rather than into the loading area of the machine.
And unlike the last machines, on which the lids were kept closed, students need to leave these lids open when machines are not in use to prevent mildew from forming inside.
Sara Klassen, a senior who tested out the new machines, thinks the machines could be more environmentally friendly, but likes the front-load option.
“As a thrifty college student,” Klassen said, “I like that my clothes will last longer and I can save money on quarters and detergent.”