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93 Random Hall Residents Share One Washer

Random Hall, MIT’s smallest dorm, is unique from other MIT dormitories in that it provides residents with “free” use of its laundry facilities. But since finals week of last term, all but one of the washers has been out of commission, generating a stir among Random’s 93 residents.

Residents pay an $80 house tax at the beginning of each term, from which a portion is used to help cover the cost of upkeep of the hall- owned and operated machines. But, otherwise, the use of the dorm’s three washers and four dryers is free; all other dorms require 75¢ a load.

Students living in Random have historically maintained their own laundry facilities by electing hall members to serve as laundry chairs, or in Random parlance, “laundry empresses.” These paid positions are part of Random’s house government and include the responsibilities of fixing machines when they break, as well as ordering replacement parts when necessary.

According to laundry empress Alexander V. Rodriguez ’11, there is currently only one working washer but four working dryers at Random. “Due to the unfortunate timing of the washers breaking—finals week, I was unable to tend to them at the time,” he said.

Since returning to campus this January, Rodriguez said that he ordered the necessary parts to fix the two broken washing machines but had to wait two weeks in order for the appropriate paperwork for funding to clear.

“I am now essentially at the mercy of UPS as to when I can fix the washers,” he said.

Although only a fraction of Random residents have been residing in the dormitory since the beginning of IAP, one of them, John “Sweet Tea” Dorminy ’13 expressed concern about the lack of multiple machines saying “when we moved into MIT Housing, we agreed to a contract stating MIT would provide laundry machines.”

As long as only one functional washer remains, “Randomites [will] have just 1.8 hours a week to wash clothes, assuming 24/7 use of the laundry machine” when all Random residents return for the spring semester, Dorminy said.

“It is inconvenient to see that the one washer available is almost constantly being used,” Rodriguez said “but it is certainly not anywhere near bad enough to force students to use outside facilities.”

—Ana Lyons