Davidson College's Full-Service Laundry Gets Scrubbed

Sorry, students... you'll have to learn to wash your own clothes.

Some colleges wrap internet access, meals, and even skiing into your tuition, but Davidson College offers something arguably more useful: free, full-service laundry. Since 1925, the North Carolina-based college has had a laundry facility where staff wash, dry, fold, and iron students' clothes. But that's all about to change.

The 1,850-student school announced last week that a year from now, there will no longer be dedicated laundry staff at the facility. Free washers and dryers will continue to be available, but students will have to do the chore on their own.

Davidson will save around $400,000 a year by shutting down the laundry service, which is staffed by more than a dozen workers. For the next year, the college will be looking for other jobs for the displaced staff members.

Doing Laundry Yourself
Trust me, I know what I'm doing. [Image credit: Flickr user "svtherland" (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)] View Larger

Carol Quillen, president of Davidson, cites that the money saved from this move will be diverted to scholarships, internships, and research. Davidson is known as a very selective liberal-arts college with a primary focus on academics, so the money would be better spent in those areas.

Although the laundry service has been a Davidson tradition, Quillen argues that, "We must practice good stewardship of our resources." She also added that no one attends Davidson simply because of the free laundry services.

Hero image: Flickr user "katiew" (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

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