Students call for free laundry, laundry assistance programs

Students call for free laundry, laundry assistance programs

The Tufts chapter of the Young Democratic Socialists of America has created a petition calling on the university to provide free use of laundry machines in all residence halls. They join groups like the Tufts Community Union Senate to discuss how laundry costs act as a barrier to equity, though their proposed solutions differ.

Tufts YDSA wrote in an open letter to university president Anthony Monaco, “Tufts claims to be anti-racist and equitable, but charging money to do laundry places a burden on low-income students who disproportionately serve people of color.” are students.” “This is another way Tufts contributes to systems that widen wealth gaps and increase the cost of living for students of color and low-income students.”

The cost of using washers and dryers in the residence halls is $1.50 per cycle, which is paid through the school’s JumboCash system. Currently, a load of laundry costs at least $3.00, although due to additional drying fees, many students pay more to do their laundry.

“I think it’s important because those small fees add up, especially when you have to pay extra for regular drying,first-year TCU senator Ayomide Oloyde wrote in an email to the Daily, “After all, 60 Minutes Allocated often does not dry your clothes completely. Additionally, the dryer’s volume capacity often forces you to do multiple loads.

As a representative of the First Community, Oloide said he is focusing his efforts on providing aid to low-income students.

“I believe laundry Not a burden or hindrance to most students on campus,” he wrote. “Moreover, it’sMild annoyance. What I mean by this is that while most students on campus can comfortably afford laundry, it is a barrier for many low-income students.

While Olloyde and the TCU Senate are not the first to raise the issue, senators have made laundry assistance a higher priority than in previous years.

“This has been a goal for the TCU Senate since I was in office; However, this requires institutional support and a dedicated funding flow to have longevity,” Oloyde wrote. “I would venture to say that we have made the most progress this semester compared to years past.”

Tufts YDSA has a more ambitious goal: for Tufts to completely eliminate the costs associated with doing laundry in residence halls. They use free laundry machines at similar collegiate institutions as a way of pressuring the university to make changes.

“Tufts is one of the most expensive private universities in the country. We already pay almost $9,000 in housing costs, and laundry doesn’t include it,” Tufts YDSA President Neilan Martin wrote in an email to the Daily. “When we started researching this, we found that top universities around the country, like Columbia and Stanford, have free laundry programs.”

Oloyde worries that the cost of universally free laundry will be passed onto students in a disproportionate way.

“I would love to be wrong, and I think it’s fantastic that the students are working in that direction; I’ve just taken a different approach, and I’m aiming for a slightly different end goal,” Oloed wrote.

Tufts YDSA argues that free laundry machine access could be paid for by the university’s rapidly growing $2.7 billion endowment.

“Tufts University is well positioned to be a leader in this area,” Tufts YDSA wrote in the letter. “Tufts’ endowment has grown massively over the past two years ($750 million increase in fiscal year 2021 alone), and we have more applicants and admitted students than ever before.”

The administration says the low laundry cost will be reviewed in the coming months.

“The issue of accessibility and affordability of laundry services in Tufts residence halls has been raised before by members of the TCU Senate, and representatives from several offices will be meeting with them in December to discuss their concerns and ideas,” said Patrick Collins, Tufts’ executive director of media relations wrote in an email to Daly. “Separately, the Office of the President received the Tufts YDSA petition and will direct it to the appropriate parties for review.”

Martin said Tufts YDSA hopes to disseminate its petition as widely as possible but that is not where their efforts end.

“We want to show the administration that this is an issue that students care about,” Martin said. “Hopefully, they will listen to the plea and work to make laundry free. But, if they don’t, we have some ideas to prove to the administration that having free laundry is important to students. Tufts YDSA is deeply committed to this issue, and the petition is just the beginning of our work.”

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