Just before the start of the new semester, to the dismay of most students, furniture was removed from common spaces on most floors of the Jinqiao Towers in order to convert the rooms into bedrooms. With the termination of the Jinyang residence hall lease and the large influx of new international students, the school became challenged with accommodating students living on campus. Having the dorms at near full capacity affects many aspects of dorm life, one of which being the laundry. 

 In the Jinqiao residence halls there is a washer and a dryer unit located roughly every other floor. Now that each floor sits much closer to the maximum capacity of roughly 22 students, the student to unit ratio is higher than it has ever been. This ratio becomes even worse as units occasionally malfunction and are out of order until a facility order is placed and the machine is fixed. Additionally, the machines are not supposed to be used during quiet hours, the time between 11:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m., further reducing machine availability. 

With high demand, a common situation students are faced with is figuring out what to do with clothes that have finished their wash/dry cycles but have not yet been collected by their owners. Common options include checking again later, leaving a message in the floor or tower group chat, or removing the clothes out and leaving them on top of the machine. This last method garners mixed feelings from students.

 Shavonne Shen, a Resident Assistant (RA) for the second time this year, shares that she considered purchasing a basket for students to leave unattended clothes in but felt that it could potentially raise some sanitary issues and discomfort among students who do not want their clothes moved. She also mentioned using a system where she hung a white board for students to write their name and room number when doing laundry. 

“At first I think it worked well because they could contact the person who left their clothes,” explains Shen, but “as time goes by there are people who forget to write their names.” Despite this, she found that over the semester fewer of these cases occurred as students adjusted to doing laundry in a community setting. 

With the transition to the new dorms next semester, the process of doing laundry will likely change as most dorms will be in a suite style.