Since arriving on campus this semester, Kenyon students have spent thousands of dollars in quarters on operating laundry machines. K-card readers, which can normally be used to operate these machines, are not currently connected to the school’s washers and dryers. The Kenyon department of business services promises that the situation is temporary.
On July 11, Fred Linger, manager of business services, sent a Student-Info email explaining the situation. “For those of you currently on campus: Please be patient as we improve the campus laundries with new washers and dryers,” Linger said. “They will be coin operated only until we install the new card readers in coming weeks.”
According to Linger, the problem lies with the laundry machines that were previously available to students. The machines were outdated, and when CBORD, the company in charge of Kenyon laundry services, updated their card readers, the old machines were no longer compatible. The school decided to take the opportunity to replace all the washers and dryers, a service CBORD provided to them free of charge. Unfortunately, the process has been time-consuming.
“You put in the machines, and then you have to run the wiring for the readers, so you just start this chronology of work,” Linger said. “Then there was a part missing from the readers and they thought we had it, we thought they had it, and it turned out it had never been ordered by them.”
While the administration hopes to have the card readers working soon, they were unable to make them operational by the time the semester began. Linger regrets the difficulties. “We wanted to be able to welcome you back with fully functional machines,” he said, “[but instead] we’re doing old school right now with quarters.”
With every washer and dryer on campus currently coin-operated, the number of quarters required is becoming a problem. The Bookstore has begun reaching out to nearby banks in order to satisfy the student demand for the coins. Additionally, the administration is negotiating with CBORD in order to have the quarters removed from machines and recirculated on campus. Linger hopes the supply of coins will last until the card readers are operational.
“We’ll be up and running, [given] another week to 10 days,” Linger said. “This obviously did not go as planned.”
Along with the new machines and readers, Kenyon’s laundry service provider is offering an app, Coinmach, that allows users to report maintenance problems they encounter while doing laundry. Users can scan the machine’s bar code, and a dropdown menu allows them to report the type of problem they’re experiencing. Linger hopes this will make it easier for the maintenance staff to solve issues.
“People call security, they call maintenance, they’ll call me, they’ll call ResLife. And they’ll say, [broken] washer down in McBride,” Linger said. “Which washer? They don’t tell us. But the main thing is this expedites the service call. It takes all of us out of the middle of it.”
Linger expects that the new card readers will be ready by September 15.