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Website tracks usage of campus laundry rooms

Carolina Wilson | Sunday, March 25, 2012

Gone are the days of going to your dorm’s laundry room with an armful of dirty clothes, only to find a room of occupied washers and dryers.


Last week, student government and Notre Dame Food Services (NDFS) announced the campus launch of LaundryView, a website that shows the availability of washers and dryers on campus at any given time.


Yiting Zheng, chair of Student Senate’s campus technology committee, was a driving force behind the launch of the site at Notre Dame. The program is also available in a mobile version for further convenience.


“I hope it will be a useful tool for the students [by] preventing forgotten laundry in the machines and extra trips down the stairs looking for an open machine,” Zheng said.


Zheng said Casey Cockerham, former chair of the campus technology committee, helped make the launch of LaundryView a reality during his term.


“[Cockerham] did a little research, talked to student government members from other colleges and decided it was a project we should pursue,” she said.


The idea was proposed at one of the committee’s meetings during the 2010-2011 academic year after, learning about a similar system in place at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Zheng said. She said Cockerham spoke with David Prentkowski, NDFS director, about the possibility of implementing such a system at Notre Dame.


“[Cockerham] was surprised to find that Food Services was already considering such a system,” Zheng said. “With budgetary approval, Prentkowski said it would be installed by 2012.”


Although LaundryView wasn’t fully approved until this term, Zheng said the launch could not have been finalized without the efforts of Cockerham and his team.


Student body vice president Brett Rocheleau said LaundryView will solve a problem many students face in their dorms.


“Many times, students find themselves walking down to the laundry room to find out there is a line or all of the machines are in use,” Rocheleau said. “This invention allows people to see what machines are available from the comfort of their room or while walking back from class.”


Rocheleau said the biggest obstacle impeding the site’s success at Notre Dame is informing the campus to promote widespread use.

“Once the word is out there, though, I anticipate that students will use this every time before they do laundry,” Rocheleau said.


LaundryView for Notre Dame’s campus can now be accessed at www.laundryview.com/notredame