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Undergraduate Council of Students discusses free laundry initiative

Council introduces liaison system, considers subsidized laundry

The Undergraduate Council of Students is starting to plan an initiative that will make laundry free or subsidized for some students, said UCS Vice President Jason Carroll ’21 at the Council’s meeting Wednesday night.

Also at the meeting, Chief of Staff Melissa Lee ’20 introduced a new system through which general body members will serve as club liaisons to make UCS and its resources more accessible to student groups.

Carroll presented two ideas to subsidize laundry: The University could include laundry in housing costs so that it would be covered for students on financial aid, or students with low estimated family contributions could receive cards loaded with a certain amount of Bear Bucks.

The general body then debated the merits of each plan and raised new considerations, like how the University could ensure that Bear Bucks dedicated to laundry are only spent on laundry.

But some general body members argued that tracking the use of Bear Bucks would be unnecessary.

“If people are demonstrating financial need to get one of the Bear Bucks cards, … I don’t think there’s a need to track that down,” said Brendan Caver ’21.

Today, Carroll and UCS President William Zhou ’20 will meet with Koren Bakkegard, associate vice president for campus life and dean of students, to discuss the laundry initiative for the first time.

During the meeting, Lee told the general body that UCS created club liaisons to “make sure we have consistent interaction and communication between us and the club leaders on campus.”

Each general body member will be assigned six to 10 student groups. Liaisons will help clubs with budgeting issues, according to a slide presented at the meeting. The liaison system will allow general body members to start projects and initiatives based on their work with student groups, Lee said.

“The goal is really to have someone from UCS be there to support club presidents but then ultimately allow club presidents to have agency over how much they’re engaging with the general body and UCS,” Zhou said.

At the end of the meeting, the Council discussed ideas and goals for the year in small groups with the chairs of the Wellness, Campus Life, Academic Affairs and Communications committees. The new chair of student activities will be internally elected on Sept. 25, so Zhou ran that group’s discussion.



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