By Andrea Ordonez, Editorial Editor
I remember freshman year, hauling my laundry to the second floor of my residence hall and swiping my card to use the machines. Back then, students put Dutch Debits on their cards, and for roughly a dollar, I could get two loads of laundry done.
When Hofstra decided to put a built-in laundry fee on tuition, I initially loved it. Not having to make Dutch Debit transfers every week and figuratively getting unlimited opportunities to do laundry was great. However, the repulsive state of the laundry rooms and the behavior of people in them make me long for the "pay as you go" system of earlier times.
After going three weeks without doing laundry because of a crazy midterm schedule, I finally found some free time a couple days ago to drag my overflowing bags of dirty clothes to the laundry room of my building. I had made several attempts within the three weeks to do laundry, but every time, the machines were full. On this day, I got there only to see all six machines full but only one actually running. A guy casually leaning on the corner machine noticed the confusion on my face. He informed me that the clothes in the motionless five machines were his, and that he was waiting for a friend.
Heated, I pointed at the laundry room rules posted on the wall. One of them stated that a person could use a maximum of three machines at one time. After watching him roll his eyes, I told him I would notify the RD or RA on duty that he was unfairly hogging machines.
Emotionless, he looked at me and said, "Cry me a river."
I know for a fact, he is not the only person to abuse the benefits of Hofstra's laundry system.
While the built-in laundry fee has its perks, it encourages savage and selfish behavior. Residents act with a distorted sense of entitlement and forget that hundreds of other residents need to do their laundry with the same machines.
In addition to entertaining egotistical behavior, the system lets people who live off-campus and visitors who do not pay a built-in fee freely use machines that rightfully belong to the building's residents.
Along with abuse of the system, piles of unclaimed clothes sit on top of the washers (their cleanliness remains questionable) and sometimes, if you're lucky, you'll find a lost sock or soaked underwear behind them. To complete the mess, I've seen people stand in front of machines that have as much as 15 minutes left on the clock just so they could use a washer or dryer.
If Hofstra forced its students to pay for laundry on a weekly basis, its students would properly learn to economize. They would think twice before paying to use all the machines and would be forced to get creative by going off-campus or back home to get their clothes cleaned. Lastly, students would become more accountable for their laundry, bringing an end to the disgusting piles of unclaimed clothes.
I understand a departure from a built-in fee may not seem favorable, but for those who disagree with me, just think about how the real world will greet you after Hofstra. There probably won't be machines at your disposal, unless you personally spend hundreds or even thousands to buy them. There also won't be considerate laundromat owners that care if your clothes have been stolen because you didn't bother watching them. "Cry me a river," they'll say to you. "Cry me a freakin' river."