“Free Laundry” Could Turn into Extra Fee for Students


University of New Haven students say they are excited about free laundry, but their excitement  may be short lived.

University Associate Director of Housing and Operations Daniel Percopo said there may be an additional laundry fee for residents every semester starting in the upcoming fall semester.

“If they were to roll this out next year, they would be looking at a one-time charge per semester,” said Percopo. “I know the cost we’re talking about, I think the last time I saw it was less than $50 that they would be looking to charge students.”

This decision does not surprise students who suspected that “free” does not actually mean “free.”

La’Shelle Bryan, a student at the university, said, “When I first heard the news about the ‘free laundry,’ all I thought about was, ‘How much is my tuition going to go up over the next few years?’ I already paid a lot of money for my education and living here at UNH so how much more in debt will I be?”  

Some students said because the washers and dryers don’t work properly, they should not be charged extra for using them.

“If we have to pay a one-time fee to do laundry, that’s just another way to suck money out of pockets,” said Alexis Cirillo, a sophomore at the university. “Most college kids are broke and it’s not fair to make us shell out an extra $50 to wash our clothes in washers and dryers that are completely unreliable – it’s absurd.”

Laundry has been a hot issue for some time at the university, and that prompted the decision to make it “free” this semester.

“As we were talking about different changes to the university, this was something we felt would be a positive impact to our students,” said Percopo. “Something my supervisor has been talking about for a number of years now, and offering just another resource and convenience to students.”

Many cash-strapped students felt a weight taken off their shoulders when they heard they no longer have to pay $1.25 per wash and dry.

“Having free laundry is extremely convenient being that I don’t have time for a job,” said Natalie Aparicio, a sophomore at the university.  “I feel it’s one less thing to worry about, especially if you have no source of income.”

Aparicio said that her parents don’t usually send her money, but when they do, it goes toward laundry, and food shopping.  

With the increase in tuition, and room and board each year, some students argue that the university should be more transparent on how their money is being spent.

“I don’t think the school takes into account that students should know where their money is going,” Bryan said. “No one ever really takes the chance to explain to students about the bills they are paying.”

Percopo said that the money students were spending on laundry was  used for the laundry services.

“So the laundry money goes to the upkeep,” Percopo said. “We have a contract, right, so that has to do with the upkeep of the machines, has to do with the replacement of the machines, the rental cost of having them in the residence halls, so everyone to kind of just know that it does apply to those items.”