Laundry should be free on campus

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Aiden Tacker / The Bucknellian

Harley Marks, Opinions Co-Editor

Along with food, shelter and water, clean clothes tend to be regarded as a basic life necessity. At an institution like Bucknell, where the price of admission is equivalent to the average person’s entire life savings, you would think that covering students’ laundry wouldn’t put our school in the red. 

I understand that in order to keep a school afloat, the students need to be charged for certain things. However, it is hard to feel sympathetic when the endowment has hit one billion dollars and it takes three years before you can live somewhere on campus that doesn’t appear to be a glorified prison cell (perhaps I should’ve opened this article with a disclaimer for my dramatics).

Nevertheless, meals are another area where I feel we are being overcharged. I started out with a $700 meal plan and after only a couple months, I had to consider adding more money; keep in mind that I buy most of my meals off campus, and my dining dollars still had to be renewed almost immediately. 

If poor living situations and food insecurity wasn’t enough to enrage you, I am sure the topic of laundry will be. It costs $1.25 per load to use the washers and dryers on campus. The reason this is frustrating, aside from $1.25 objectively being an outrageous price for one load of laundry, is because laundry is something we all have to do. 

It is no secret that to the people who know me, the way I do my laundry is extra and perhaps pretentious. Allow me to explain. I separate my laundry into six different loads: white normals, white delicates, dark normals, dark delicates, towels and sheets. I know this process sounds insane, but I’m sure my fellow clothing-loving students can relate.

At any rate, the price of laundry has completely abolished my process. I simply don’t have the funds to properly separate my clothing, because by the time I’m done with six loads I’ve spent enough money to put a down payment on a house. 

But this issue extends far beyond the way I separate my laundry. I have not come across one student who isn’t frustrated, or at the very least confused, about why they have to spend so much money just for clean clothes. The price of laundry here is just one example of how Bucknell is ignorant to the financial troubles that many of our students go through. 

I think it is also important to address the laundry situation for seniors living downtown. Unless they have a washer/dryer unit in-house, many students head to Wash Tubs to do their laundry. Wash Tubs makes Bucknell laundry seem like a steal, considering one wash load is $2.25 and a dryer load is six minutes for every quarter you put in. To me, there appears to be no winning. Laundry, something every student (hopefully) does, is quickly draining our pockets. 

We pay for so much on this campus in addition to the unthinkable price of admission, which causes a great deal of financial stress for a larger percentage of the student body than you may assume. Bucknell, the least you can do is let us wash our clothes for free.

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