By Krista Schauder
Laundry prices at KU have risen by 50 cents since last year, causing students to scramble for quarters.
Last year it was $1.25 to wash clothes and $1 to dry them. While the prices have increased by only 25 cents to both wash and dry, it has impacted students across campus.
Students are unhappy about the increase.
Anna Conti, Dixon resident said, “It’s kind of annoying but you have to do it. I continue to do laundry at least once a week.”
Sophomore Brittany Guerrieri said, “It’s annoying, 50 cents really isn’t a lot, but trying to find two extra quarters each time is a struggle.”
Junior Dominique Ficara agreed with Guerrieri saying, “I try to do my laundry at Apex now because it’s free.”
Junior Danielle Sienko was more accepting toward the price increase. She said, “I think it’s stupid, but it’s a small enough amount that people won’t get too bent over about it.” She then talked about how it really doesn’t affect her because she uses the money her parents give her on her Bear Bucks account to pay for it.
One thing was common with all four students; they wanted a reason for the laundry price increase.
The organization that manages the campus laundry program is Kutztown University Student Services, Inc. As a non-profit organization, KUSSI was established for educational and charitable purposes. Any surplus from KUSSI operations is returned to Kutztown students in the form of support for scholarships, student activities and campus athletics.
When asked for the specific reason for why there was a rise in laundry prices Student Services Coordinator Matthew Lowther said, “Over the past ten years, operational costs associated with the campus laundry facilities have increased.”
Further reasons to increase the cost are to pay for the capital costs of the new high efficiency washers and dryers, to add Bear Bucks card readers in residence halls and to come up with ways to improve KU’s laundry facilities.
With a newly negotiated five-year service contract with their current provider, KUSSI made a commitment to evaluate the laundry pricing and made adjustments as necessary, taking several factors into consideration.
They considered utility costs to operate the facilities, capital costs associated with new machines and the new technology and average cost of the wash and dry cycles at other colleges and universities and off-campus locations.
“We are confident that the recent price increase will solidify our ability to support KU students now and into the future. We do not anticipate pricing changes for the remainder of the contract term,” said Lowther.
Laundry prices on campus are still significantly lower than off–campus options and are lower than the average rates at other colleges and universities.
Lowther hinted at more changes to laundry services: “We will soon announce a new laundry technology initiative that we think our students will be excited about.”