Trouble with coinless laundry

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By Brad Whitehouse
Associate News Editor

In most cases, students are quick to jump on the latest technological trend. But when it comes to their laundry machines, they like to keep it plain and simple.

After an electronic OneCard payment system replaced the coin-operated laundry machines in residence this year, the housing office received some angry complaints from students who said the machines keep freezing, taking their money, and leaving them with a pile of dirty laundry.

“This OneCard system is completely B.S.,” said Jordan Wyllie, a first-year dance student.

When she went to toss her laundry in the washing machine, she realized it was frozen. She tried troubleshooting by unplugging it and plugging it back in, but didn’t have any luck. She emailed the housing office, but was told to “be patient.”

Wyllie’s mother also emailed the housing office. They told her mother that the machines were working, but Wyllie said they weren’t fixed until days later.

“It wasn’t even the washer and dryer that wasn’t working. It was that one card thing,” she said. “Don’t lie to my mom and say they’re working.”

And for others, it’s more than just a hassle. Student say they’re left shortchanged when the machines malfunction.

“I’m going to have to put more money on my OneCard because sometimes it’ll go through and it’ll take my money but it won’t say ‘press start’,” said Stephanie Leyland, a floor president in the ILLC.

Chad Nuttall, student housing manager, said computing and communication services (CCS) is trying to figure out why the machines are freezing.

He currently has weekly meetings with CCS and the OneCard office until the problem is solved.

But Nuttall said in some cases the machines aren’t simply breaking down, they’ve been vandalized. He said one OneCard reader was destroyed from vandalism, and that others have been tampered with, and have had wires and plugs pulled out of them. He said it might have been caused by students trying rig the machines.

Nuttall said the switch to the Onecard system came with a new contract this year. He said new machines were the number one issue for last year’s students.

— Files from Christina Dun

Photo By: Lindsay Boeckl

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