Residents search for working washing machines

Andy Hsiao Chung, Staff Writer

In the darkest hours of the night, pacing through a breezy chill of a Johnstown October, a faint presence can be seen carrying a basket of worn apparel wandering into oblivion – a Pitt-Johnstown student on their way to do laundry.

With Pitt-Johnstown’s laundry service, in which coins or a swipe card are no longer required for use, some students exercise the convenience to the fullest extent.

Some students wash their favorite pieces of clothing daily, resulting in machine overcrowding and more breakdowns.

Some students don’t have washers or dryers in their halls, and are forced to stroll around campus, trying their luck in other buildings’ laundry machines, phoning their friends to be let in.

Housing director Mark Dougherty said townhouse residents’ ID cards are programmed to give them access to the four North Lodges’ laundry rooms.

Freshman Kalea Pollick said access or breakdowns aren’t the biggest issue, though.

“I think it isn’t so much about washers and dryers breaking down, but that there really aren’t enough of them.”

Senior Brian Krumenacker has found frustration in his laundry treks.

“There are at least 150 to 200 people living in the townhouses and I usually do laundry in the Briar and Larkspur lodge – while there are only two of each (washers and dryers) in both of them.

“I came across a maintenance guy while doing laundry at the lodges. I asked him about it and he said that there are plans about new additions that are currently in talks.”

Associate Director of Auxiliary Services Betsy Goenner said that it is too early in the year to tell whether machines are breaking down more frequently, but that more information could be available within two to three weeks.

A representative of Equipment Marketers, the provider of campus washers and dryers, headquartered in Cherry Hill, N.J., agreed, saying it may be too early for a specific statistic.

Thus, the journey of the lone wanderer continues, detergent and dryer sheets in hand, crossing campus to use machines somewhere.