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Laundry fees to be eliminated for Boise State students starting next fall

Photo by Claire Keener

Starting next fall, laundry will be completely free for Boise State students living in campus housing.

According to Dr. Luke Jones, director for Housing and Residence Life, this change has been in motion since 2018, but progress was largely halted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’ve been trying for several years to make the shift and just include the cost of laundry, washing, drying with the cost of housing fees,” Luke Jones said. “And we were just about to see that when COVID hit, and so that threw everything off.”

The decision to eliminate laundry fees was made possible by projected cost savings to the housing department of around $150,000, according to Luke Jones. 

laundry fees, chaffee dorms
[Laundry machines in dorm halls will no longer require payment.]
Photo by Claire Keener | The Arbiter

The cost savings would come from cutting cable services in housing buildings, with the exception of the dormitory common rooms.

According to Luke Jones, national data and data at Boise State shows that students don’t actively utilize the cable service. However, Housing and Residence Life currently includes a charge for cable as part of the university’s housing costs.

“Students are ultimately the ones who are paying through their fees to have access to cable,” Luke Jones said. “We’d rather not use student fees or costs that they’re paying [toward] housing to go to something they’re really not using.”

By redirecting the money saved, the university can now include laundry costs in the room and board fees without raising the price students pay for housing tuition.

“We actually are able to just take that money that comes from the cost savings from not providing cable,” Luke Jones said.

In addition to the university’s goal of cutting laundry fees for students, progress is also being made towards improving the quality of accessible laundry equipment.

“A complaint was heard from students that sometimes it doesn’t get it dry all the way, and so you might have to spend more than $3 to do your load of laundry so we’ll be working on the quality of that as well,” Luke Jones said.

However, he wasn’t the only one to hear concerns from students over laundry costs.

“It was mainly complaints from other students,” said Adam Jones, the on-campus housing representative in the ASBSU General Assembly and a sophomore in political science. “I probably heard from half a dozen [students], but they were really pretty upset about the cost of it, which I understand. I mean, it’s $3 for every time you wash your clothes.”

Adam Jones had written a resolution back in February to bring down the cost of laundry at the university, though learned upon contacting Luke Jones that a similar plan was already in motion.

“Had it not been for [Kenneth Huston of ASBSU] just saying ‘Hey, do you mind just chatting, a student wants to pass this resolution,’ I wouldn’t have even known about it,” Luke Jones said. “One thing I’d love to see in the future is for there to be a more collaborative relationship when it comes to issues that students are facing.”

According to Luke Jones, Boise State housing is often aware of issues students are facing and has a plan to approach them. In instances like this, communication and collaboration can get things done more efficiently than external bills and resolutions.

“So most of the things that students are concerned about, we are too and we want to work together to make them happen,” Luke Jones said. “I would much rather have those kinds of collaboration than a resolution.”

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