To wash clothes at Queens, the 862 students who live in the seven on-campus dorms can pick from one of the 36 washing machines and 37 dryers.
Assume it takes an hour and a half to wash and dry a load of laundry. Students tend to do at least two loads a week, which, overall, keeps the machines humming for 72 hours–or three days–straight, every week. Phew (at the smell of dirty clothes and the math)!
Edward Young, director of residence life, says that these averages are on par with other universities of Queens’ size and caliber, specifically citing Furman University in Greenville, S.C., where he was previously employed. Tonya Barfield, Campus Services’ administrative assistant, backs up Young by saying that Mac-Gray provides Queens with a quantity of quality washers and dryers. The machines are up to date with the 2007 Energy Star ratings.
But if there are so few people for each washer, then why do some students at Queens struggle to find an opportune time to do their laundry?
Young says that Laundry View assists students in finding an available time by acting as an online laundry room “scout.” Laundry View is predominantly used by students to check if there is a vacant machine in the laundry room of a resident’s building or floor. Via text, Laundry View alerts registered users that their wet laundry is ready to be moved to the dryer and dry laundry is ready to be folded.
The service also provides tools for users to observe when the laundry room is most often in use. Barfield explains that Laundry View has been installed at Queens since June 2007 and it collects data for each hour of the day during a two-week period to determine the average use of a laundry room within a specific hour on any given day. This information can be found by clicking “View Weekly Stats” underneath the “Need a Machine?” button on the right side of the webpage. This way, students can schedule their laundry times when the room is more likely to have an unoccupied machine.
Sampled Queens’ residents are mostly satisfied with the laundry situation, citing only minor frustrations with the amount of time it takes for machines to be repaired. Young says that it is important for students to alert Mac-Gray as soon as possible if a machine is not working. To ensure that laundry machine maintenance issues do not go unreported and unresolved, he and Aaron Sisson, director of campus services, check all laundry machines for proper working status when performing walkthroughs of dormitories.
Students agree with Young when he says, “It’s always nice to have free laundry.”