Annika Bjornson | Staff Writer
Students may have noticed that a new laundry payment system was introduced to the on-campus community during Jan Term: the free mobile app, PayRange. Almost every laundry room, excluding theme houses, now has washers and dryers that use this online payment.
Alan Jacob, the associate director of housing, was offered this option in November by Cozetto Commercial Laundry, a family-owned local business who owns the contract with Whitworth to run its washers and dryers. Jacob said, “it would be a win for the students because it would be easier to see when laundry is available, when laundry is done, reminders, [and easier] to load money without having to buy a card and track it.” He agreed to the upgrade and has since been working to switch over the main residence halls.
According to Jacob, cards will continue to be available on campus for theme houses, summer camps, and conferences. “I think very quickly students will find that having it on their phone is easier than trying to remember a card,” he said. To use the new system, students can scan a QR code in the laundry rooms to download the app, load credit onto it, and then pay for each use as needed.
Students’ reactions have been mostly in support of the new system. Sophomore Ashley Townzen said, “I think it’s a good idea because it’s really convenient for people who don’t have a bank around here and don’t [want to] have to pay to get cash out at the HUB.”
Sophomore Sophie White, an RA in Warren, said, “I think it’s a great opportunity for people who prefer to use an app, but for people who already have money on their card, it’s kind of a pain to have one less area to wash or dry your clothes, especially when the other ones are full.”
Senior Micah Litterell, also an RA, shares a similar view. “I personally benefit from the new app system because when my card runs out of money, I don’t have to go all the way up to my room to get money and put it in the machine and then go all the way back down to the laundry room. I can just use the one with the app option,” he said.
“But,” he said, “I understand that it’s inconvenient for some students and also its usually full so today I had to go all the way up to my room to get money anyway because it was already full of laundry.”
Junior Nandia Shirchindorj pointed out its efficiency for people who tend not to carry cash. Sophomore Laura Wells said she strategically used up her laundry card in order to use the online payment.
Junior Jean-Paul Guin, an RA, said it is inconvenient for students who do not have smartphones. “I just found out about it today and I still tried to use my card and it didn’t work. I have a flip phone so I can’t use the app, so that means no laundry if they make all of them this way. I do not like it,” he said.
A variety of both affirmation and criticism in regards to the payment system have come from the Whitworth student population. However, the new alternative may provide loads of opportunity for students to have more convenient laundry experiences. While this may be difficult for some users, it also has the potential to save money and time in the future.