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Mary Kilpatrick

Beginning in the fall, Tulane Housing and Residential Life will include the cost of laundry in students’ room fees, allowing unlimited access to laundry rooms throughout the year.

Currently, a load of laundry costs 75 cents. Students paid for laundry either by swiping their Splash Cards, which deduct the amount from their Tulane debit account, or by inserting quarters into the machines.

HRL will also begin including MicroFridge units in the room fee and will install the fridges in all dorm rooms. Aron Residences, which already has rooms with full kitchens, will be the lone exception. In previous years, MicroFridge units were optional and could be rented through a university-approved vendor.

Housing Services Director Kim Montague said that last year, when HRL looked at the amount that students were being charged for MicroFridges, it decided to make a change.

“We are also trying to move away from numerous ‘nickel and dime’ charges for students and are moving away from commission-based programs,” Montague said. “Example: The vendor who rented the MicroFridges directly to students gave HRL a $30 commission per MicroFridge rented. We would prefer providing the services directly to students at a reduced rate and not receive any commission.”

Montague said HRL decided to include the laundry in students’ room fees after an evaluation of what other universities were doing across the country.

“We also looked at many other universities [which include laundry in students’ room fees] and found that there was a greater level of satisfaction from students,” Montague said. “The level of satisfaction was related to convenience. They didn’t feel the need to overload the machines to get their money’s worth, and they didn’t have to make sure there was money on their card.”

Ross Bryan, associate vice president of student affairs for HRL, said the shift will reduce costs for students.

“Going through the university is significantly less than purchasing a MicroFridge unit independently or leasing the unit from an outside vendor,” Bryan said. “HRL is providing a service to students in the laundry [machines] and MicroFridge. Is there a cost to it? Of course.

“But going through HRL lowers the cost for students. If HRL can get a better deal for students, we’re going to do it.”

Incoming freshman David Kilpatrick said he is excited about not having to worry about laundry money.

“It’ll be nice not to have to worry about finding change to do laundry and to have the MicroFridge pre-installed,” Kilpatrick said. “It’ll probably make me want to wash my clothes more.”