ON TOPIC, OFF-CAMPUS: Apartment living washes out stains of dorm living

It is three o’clock on a Friday afternoon. 

You’ve been stalking the Bergsaker Hall basement for hours, waiting for a washer to open up.  You finally get your chance and unceremoniously dump your clothes into the machine, blessing your mother for doing laundry for a family of five while you can only seem to get to it when you’re on your last pair of underwear.  You set a timer on your phone for 26 minutes to be responsible and not occupy the washer any longer than necessary. 

One episode of “How I Met Your Mother” later and you head down to the basement with your box of dryer sheets to move your clothes. When you arrive, however, you are greeted with a terrible sight. 

There they are: your sopping wet clothes, just sitting on top of the grimy metal table. Some person has decided that their clothes are more important than yours. That your desire to wash your work uniform before your shift at 4 a.m. the next day is merely a trivial wish. 

The inability to do laundry is a struggle every dorm resident has experienced. When I moved off campus, it was a personal requirement that my apartment needed to have in-unit laundry. Being able to do laundry whenever I want — which, I’ll be honest, is still seldom — is a blessing. Not having to worry about other people touching my clothes or stealing my laundry detergent is something I didn’t realize I would be thankful for until after I moved out of the dorms.

There are some drawbacks to doing laundry in the comfort of my own home. Without the worry of someone throwing my clean clothes from the dryer to the dirty floor, I tend to forgo the ‘putting away’ part of laundry. Instead, I realize that I’m missing my work pants in the middle of my morning rush to leave the house on time and spend five minutes rifling through clothes, only to realize they are too wrinkled from sitting in the dryer for three days to wear in public.

This could just be a story of how off-campus living is better than dorm life — and don’t get me wrong, it is — but let this also be a lesson of etiquette to all those that still reside on Augie’s campus. Do those doing laundry have a responsibility to be timely in moving their clothes and freeing up machines? Absolutely. However, if they are not your clothes, you have no right to touch or move them. If you can’t abide by these simple courtesies, then go find somewhere else to do your laundry. 


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