New washing machines and dryers were installed in every residence hall over the summer, Senior Associate Dean and Senior Director of Residential Life Brenda Ice wrote in an email to The Herald.
CSC ServiceWorks, a laundry services contractor, replaced units that had “been on campus a number of years” with new washers and dryers from manufacturer Speed Queen, Ice wrote. She did not specify the age of the previous machines.
“We heard the feedback from our students and staff and are excited to install environmentally friendly, technologically advanced, efficient and user-friendly laundry machines to best meet students’ needs,” Ice wrote.
But the transition to the new machines remains incomplete, as supply chain issues prevented CSC ServiceWorks from connecting the machines to the University’s point-of-sale kiosks that allow students to use Bear Bucks to pay for their laundry, Ice wrote.
That means laundry remains free for students in dorms — at least for now.
“ResLife will provide an update to students when the machines have been converted (in mid-September) to accept payments,” Ice wrote. “Until the kiosks are installed, students have complimentary laundry service.”
When payments begin again, Ice stated that they will remain the same price as last year: $3 for one wash and dry. Students will also be able to track which laundry machines are in use and receive texts when their laundry cycles have finished once CSC ServiceWorks activates the kiosks.
A representative for CSC ServiceWorks did not respond to a request for comment.
Yuna Shprecher ’24 said that she had only used the new machines once, but they “seem like a blast.”
“They seem to be doing a better job at washing and drying my clothes,” she said. She praised the ease of changing the temperature of the water — which she said is especially important when she washes delicate clothes like sweaters.
Amber Keown-Lang ’24, doing her semester’s first load of laundry in the basement of Vartan Gregorian Quadrangle A, agreed that the new machines marked a significant improvement.
“I’m glad they finally switched over,” Keown-Lang said. “A lot of the machines … were breaking.”
A new contract between the University and CSC ServiceWorks, negotiated by ResLife and the Office of Information Technology, included the new machines, Ice wrote. Feedback from ResLife and OIT staff, the Office of Facilities Management and students guided those negotiations, she added.
Students will also see faster response times for equipment repairs and can access online laundry tutorials as a result of the contract, Ice wrote. ResLife will also offer instructional programs on laundry and “a few giveaways to help students with their laundry needs,” she noted.
Julia Bedell ’25 noted that the laundry units she used in Keeney Quadrangle as a first-year leaked consistently and broke often. This summer, her mom informed her that the University was installing new machines. “I was so excited,” she said.
The old machines “were kind of nasty,” Shprecher said. Her clothes would come out with an unfortunate odor and would shrink in the dryer, she said — plus each machine needed an hour to do its job.
Speed Queen machines, as promised by their name, do not disappoint with their pace, Shprecher said: “I don’t have to wait an hour each time.” And in the niche world of online laundry commentary, Speed Queen carries deep connotations for users far away from college campuses. In one review, Wirecutter described the “cult status” Speed Queen washers have earned.
“Nothing’s leaking so far,” Bedell noted.
“No smell, no shrinking so far,” Shprecher said. “They seem to just do a better job. But they’re new, so of course they would do a better job.”
Will Kubzansky is the 133rd editor-in-chief and president of the Brown Daily Herald. Previously, he served as a University News editor overseeing the admission & financial aid and staff & student labor beats. In his free time, he plays the guitar and soccer — both poorly.