New res hall laundry system to include text alerts

The new service comes with a long-planned increase in laundry rates.

Three years ago, the Residence Halls Association passed a resolution indicating that laundry prices were to increase in three years.

Residential Life Director Frankie Minor said the rate change had been planned for a few years. When the laundry vendor, JETZ, originally proposed the idea of pairing the increase with a web-based texting service, Minor said Residential Life turned to RHA for student input on the issue.

“RHA said they were willing to not add the web-based service to keep the rates low, but because the rates, which had not increased in many years, were going to go up no matter what, they decided that they would rather give students something to benefit them,” Minor said.

Sophomore John Bryan said he thought the service sounded useful to people who don’t want to spend an hour in the laundry room waiting for their clothes.

“If it only raises the price by a quarter, I think it is a good idea,” he said.

RHA was pretty partial to the idea as well.

“You could be up in your room and check the website to see if any washers or dryers were open,” RHA President Rachael Feuerborn said.

Minor and Rita Houg, Residential Life Assistant Director for Housing Operations, said a new system was originally scheduled to be operational before students arrived on campus, but has been pushed back due to technical delays. The new web-based system, LaundryView, will be implemented by Friday.

The new system will be put into place in all of the campus residence hall laundry rooms so that students can view a graphic model of their laundry room and see how much time is remaining by scrolling over the washers and dryers.

Houg said Residential Life is working with IT people from JETZ as well as MU’s Division of IT to resolve the technical problems with the system. The site is supposed to operate as a graphical interface that shows available machines and the time remaining on each machine in use. The site also allows students to report problems with the machines.

“Hudson is having some issues,” Houg said. “We cannot get the graphical view. The goal would be to figure out whether we can get the room rewired so that it works fine, but residence can still see the same information, it is just not as pretty of a picture.”

The site is managed through the same system as the card readers currently in the laundry rooms and is intended to work with any wireless device on campus.

The site also allows students to receive a text message reminder that their laundry is done.

“The texting will require you to enter in the laundry room code and the machine code and it will send you a text message when your laundry is finished,” Minor said. “Hopefully this will keep people from walking away and letting their laundry sit all day.”

The system will not be available at extended campus housing sites.

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