Skip to Content

Residential Life Seeks New Laundry Service Provider Amid Malfunctions

As some students at Ithaca College express worries about the malfunctioning laundry machines in the residence halls, the Office of Residential Life is actively seeking solutions to minimize disruptions to laundry services.

The college partners with CSC Service Works, the leading provider of commercial laundry services in the United States, Europe, and Canada, for leasing the laundry machines. CSC Service Works caters to over 1,300 colleges and universities, as stated on their website.

Issues with laundry machines have been reported since the beginning of Spring 2024, with incidents like smoking dryers in Holmes Hall, Bogart Hall, and Terrace 3.

One student, Anna Capodilupo, residing in Terrace 3, recounted her alarm upon witnessing fire trucks and officers from the Office of Environmental Health and Safety responding to a smoking washing machine incident on March 19. This event has made her more cautious during laundry sessions, prompting her to do smaller loads and use more detergent, leading to inconvenience and wastage.

Capodilupo highlighted the competition for laundry machines in her residence, with only two working washers available for 50 residents in Terrace 3, further complicating the laundry process.

Violet Van Buren, a senior resident assistant in Terrace 12 since Fall 2021, mentioned the persistent issues with malfunctioning laundry machines in her building. Despite gaining an additional washer post-spring break, the functionality of the original machines remains inconsistent, with one washer rendered unusable and left unattended.

Jenny Pickett, the assistant director of Residential Life and Student Conduct And Community Standards, attributed the frequent breakdowns of laundry machines to their age, indicating that new machines will only be acquired once a fresh contract with a laundry service provider is initiated.

Following the conclusion of the seven-year contract with CSC in May 2023, discussions for a new contract revealed a potential price hike per machine. However, due to budget constraints, a two-year contract extension was agreed upon with a lesser monthly increase per machine.

Pickett expressed hope for enrollment growth to bolster the budget, enabling the procurement of new laundry machines by the end of the contract extension in June 2025. The delays in service response and escalating costs have prompted Residential Life to explore alternative laundry service providers.

Recognizing the strain on laundry facilities in some residence halls, Pickett mentioned the college’s efforts to align with industry standards for machine-to-student ratios. Additional washing machines were introduced during spring break to alleviate the burden, especially in larger residence halls.

The transition from front-loading to top-loading machines posed challenges for students, leading to operational issues and the need for enhanced education on machine usage. Pickett emphasized the importance of adapting to the new machine types to prevent mishaps and ensure longevity.

Repair times for malfunctioning machines have been prolonged, with service requests taking up to two weeks for resolution, frustrating both students and staff.

Efforts to address concerns include increased monitoring of out-of-order machines, encouraging students to report issues promptly, and educating them on proper machine usage to prolong their lifespan. The focus is on proactive measures to ensure effective laundry management and machine maintenance within the campus community.