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The challenges of the weekly laundry day

Kevin Noonan | Monday, March 19, 2012

People make fun of me a lot for my wardrobe. I did a quick inventory; I own something like six t-shirts. Four of them rep my beloved Kansas City Royals and the other two display my affection for Kansas University basketball. To match them, I have three pairs of basketball shorts. Aside from a handful of dressier clothes for special occasions, this is pretty much all I’ve got.

It’s pretty simple. But that’s how I like it. Not because it suits my style so much (I view myself as more of the Ryan Gosling casual, oh-I-just-rolled-out-of-bed-in-this-three-piece-suit-it’s-not-a-big-deal type of look someday) but instead because it suits my budget. I have proudly not spent more than $50 total on all of my regular wardrobe.

While this wouldn’t do me any favors in a frat (50 dollars? That’s like, the cover charge at Vineyard Vines, right bro?), I find it to be a pretty manageable style at Notre Dame.

The problem comes when I have to do the oh-so-dreaded weekly laundry. Heading to the laundry room is like going to a football game with your credit card in your pocket – you’re not coming back with any money.

This really grinds my gears because, on campus, we already pay for room and board and (for most) a meal plan. This is supposed to cover our basic living needs. We have a bed in which to sleep, bathrooms and showers to keep up our hygiene, a dining hall from which to get our meals and Flex Points to compensate the dining hall (don’t even get me started on Flex Points).

But when it comes to laundry, we’re on our own. And the laundry machines have a big “Notre Dame Food Services” logo stamped on their sides, so I’m paying these unnecessary fees to the same place I already paid to cover my food costs.

And the fact is that on a tight budget, the first place I’m going to cut my costs is laundry. That’s a real health risk for which the University should provide. Just ask the guys a couple years ago that had to evacuate their room because of MRSA.

I present a simple solution to this problem that would enable me to do my laundry whenever I want. I know that I don’t use all my meals every week (I’m sure I’m not the only one.)

Why not just let me use one of my dining hall swipes on a load of laundry and one on a drier cycle? That would be an easy, efficient way to avoid the budgetary catastrophe that is laundry.

Also, to any kids who sit next to me in class: I do my laundry, I’m just trying to make a point. I also shower regularly. Don’t freak out.

Contact Kevin Noonan at knoonan2@nd.edu
The views expressed in the Inside Column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.