Fleeing the dorms

NOHELANI QUIGTAR | Evergreen columnist

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A shocking number of people look at a bustling laundry room as a miniature department store where everything is free for the taking.

And they’re wrong.

This is a major problem in the residence halls on campus. It’s why some students can’t wait to move into apartments, where they can do their laundry without worrying it will be stolen.

When sophomore Moira Sibal lived in Stephenson North her freshman year, she had problems with other students stealing her clothes from the laundry room.

“After my first weekend at WSU, someone stole my True Religion jeans from my laundry,” Sibal said. “I worked so hard to get those, and I only had them for a month.”

I remember living in Goldsworthy Hall my freshman year, and the majority of our floor meetings were about laundry problems.

My clothes were never stolen, but there were instances of missing clothes on my floor. When the issue wasn’t stolen clothes, laundry remained a problem in some way or another.

My only fear was that someone might take my clothes out of the washer or dryer to make room for their own.

I understand there is a finite number of machines in the laundry room, but touching a stranger’s clothes is an invasion of privacy.

Everyone – me included – always left their laundry unattended, causing a lot of grief in tracking down owners.

Even when the resident advisers introduced a sign-up sheet in an attempt to regulate laundry days, people often erased names or completely forgot about the new system.

Senior Markel Davis said she encountered no major problems doing laundry during her freshman year in Regents Hall.

“When I lived in the residence hall, we had trouble at first due to the fact that people would forget about their laundry, and the next person would have to wait to put their clothes in until the person before took their stuff out,” Davis said. “To fix this problem, my floor decided to make everyone sign up for a time and day that works best for them to do their laundry. On the weekends it was a free-for-all system.”

It’s no wonder people treat the laundry room like a shopping mall when it’s filled with unattended piles of clothes.

Junior Joey Costello expressed a similar sentiment and said he encountered few problems during his freshman year in Goldsworthy Hall.

“It was always a challenge to get to the laundry room when it was available,” Costello said. “The worst thing a person could do would be taking my laundry out of the washer and putting it on top of the dryer.”

To ensure no one would touch his laundry, Costello did his laundry on Friday nights, which he said is when everyone was too drunk to worry about having clean clothes for the rest of the week.

The convenience of a community laundry room aside, how many socks and shirts are you willing to lose?

Now that I live in the apartments, I don’t have to worry about having to watch my clothes every time I need clean clothes.

Sibal now lives in Campus Commons North, and although she still deals with laundry-related issues, she said she isn’t worried about her clothes being stolen.

“It’s too expensive, and the washers and dryers aren’t reliable, but I’m more comfortable doing my laundry at CCN,” she said.

More apartments contain washers and dryers, so less walking is an added bonus of moving out of the residence halls.

Once out of the residence halls, people seem to suddenly understand it’s not only rude but also a little strange to steal clothes. Maybe they realize what it would feel like to have their own clothes stolen.

My only issue with doing laundry is the absurd number of quarters I need to keep on hand, but that’s negligible.

While doing laundry in an apartment setting comes with a meager price, it’s infinitely better than worrying that someone will steal or mess with your clothes given the chance.

– Nohelani Quigtar is a senior communication major from Covington. She can be contacted at 335-2290 or by [email protected] The opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of the staff of The Daily Evergreen or those of Student Publications.