Unexpected life lessons in the laundry room


Story by Mykaela Cross, Assistant Editor

Separate the colors from the whites. Wash one set in cold, one in warm. Use this detergent and that fabric softener in only the colored load while using just a little bit of bleach in the white load.

The 2014 fall semester is underway and campus housing welcomes back more than just students, but their laundry as well. With laundry fees included in housing costs, students living on campus can do their laundry with no coins needed, though not every student looks at laundry the same way.

With so many instructions, products and dials, not to mention the other tasks to accomplish during the day, senior Joey Majchrzak does not have time to worry about learning how to do laundry. Instead of learning the laundry ropes as a freshman, Majchrzak takes his clothes home to his family.

Before coming to Baker University, Majchzrak had only touched laundry when he was helping his mother around the house.

“It was something I never really paid attention to,” Majchrzak said. “I basically followed the instructions given each time.”

Majchrzak has never used the laundry facilities on campus and considers laundry a chore. He sees doing his laundry off campus as an advantage, but understands the need to learn.

“I don’t have to think about doing my laundry during the week,” Majchrzak said. “But we all have to learn someday.”

Even though some students choose to do laundry away from campus, Majchrzak guesses that more students use the provided washers and dryers in the resident halls.

Sophomore Amanda Conrade lived in Irwin Hall her freshman year but now calls the Horn and Markham Apartments her home. Conrade is one of the students who chooses to do laundry on campus. Much like Majchrzak, laundry was not something she had to worry about at home, but she did learn the basics from observation.

“I don’t think I ever really did a whole lot, but I helped my mom every now and then,” Conrade said.

Now that she lives on campus, Conrade does her own laundry often. She considers her pile of dirty laundry pretty average compared to her fellow Wildcats and can “survive” on washing one load a week.

“I definitely really like Irwin’s laundry facilities. They’re much more up-to-date,” Conrade said. “The facilities in the apartments can’t always be counted on. The dryer can be really finicky so sometimes you have to dry your clothes twice.”

Conrade thinks that there are benefits that come with being able to do laundry on campus without having to pay.

“Most schools you have to pay for your laundry and at Baker you don’t,” Conrade said. “It also saves my mom money at home since we don’t have to pay for the water use there.”

Though freshman Nicole Fienhold, a resident of Irwin this year, agrees with Conrade on the free laundry benefits, she also sees setbacks when using BU’s facilities.

“There aren’t very many settings on the washers and dryers,” Fienhold said. “And you have to move people’s laundry who’ve run off and left it all the time. Overcrowdedness is definitely a problem.”

Fienhold regularly does her laundry twice a week and uses the facilities in Irwin. Her favorite part of laundry is seeing the clothes neat, finished and clean on her hangers.

“I like to have clean clothes so it’s nice,” Fienhold said.

So while Majchzrak has still yet to do his laundry as a senior, Conrade and Fienhold are finally getting used to the “wishy-washy” laundry machines that the university has to offer.