The University of Maryland residential facilities department is planning to include laundry fees in housing costs for unlimited service beginning fall 2022, according to Andrea Crabb, residential facilities director.
The university plans to readjust its current budget that will result in no added cost to students living on the campus.
The university’s current laundry contract with CSC ServiceWorks will end at the commencement of the spring 2022 semester after 10 years, Crabb said.
Under the current program, it costs $3 to wash and dry one load, but the new contract is set to be designed to allow on-campus students unlimited access to laundry facilities without having to pay per load, Crabb said.
“We heard loud and clear that it’s really hard to pay for laundry one load at a time when you’re already paying on top of your housing fee,” Crabb said.
During the spring 2022 semester, residential facilities will allow new companies to submit bids to enroll in a new contract with the school, she said.
The Residential Facilities Advisory Board, a body comprised of senators from the Residence Hall Association, brought the idea to the residential facilities team in the 2019 academic year, Crabb said. The RHA also passed a resolution in May in support of an unlimited laundry program.
“I think it’s just beneficial to everyone,” Crabb said. “[These are] the student fees and if the students want to use the fees in this manner then absolutely, that’s what we’re gonna do.”
The RHA researched other Big Ten schools that had similar laundry contracts and also conducted a survey of more than 500 students on their laundry facilities use and preferences.
The survey found about 73 percent of students who do not do their laundry on the campus do so because they find it too expensive.
Jason Spizuoco, RHA vice president, helped conduct the survey of student laundry facility use and preference, and said he thinks the change to unlimited laundry service will make the process less stressful for students.
“A lot of times [students] have issues paying for laundry, like the Terrapin Express doesn’t work, coin machines don’t work, all that kind of stuff. And it’s just a really big hassle,” Spizuoco said.
Alexander Lee, a sophomore biochemistry major, agreed with Spizuoco.
“I think having to pay for laundry every single time, it’s kind of a hassle, kind of annoying,” Lee said. “But a one-time payment that’s incorporated into housing, I think that would be beneficial.”
Risa Wagner, a freshman government and politics and history major said while she knows people who have unlimited laundry service at other schools, she thinks it might be, “a little bit wasteful in terms of water.”
Meanwhile, Jaime Quinn, a sophomore civil engineering major, said the unlimited service could alleviate some payment concerns.
“It’d be easier because I’m always worried about if I have enough money on my [Terrapin Express] card to pay for laundry,” she said.