New Laundry System Introduced at Carnegie Mellon

Lagging with dirty clothes to the laundry room, only to findthat all the machines are taken is just as painful as going backevery 15 minutes to check on the status of your clothes. Thisfrustration had been endured by college students for a while but ifthe new technology being tested at Carnegie Mellon Universityproves successful, these inconveniences could soon becomeunpopular.

Now through May 15, Carnegie Mellon ispiloting a web based laundry system called eSuds in three of theirresidence halls. The system will be available to 700 students foruse in residence laundry rooms in Resnik, West Wing and parts ofMorewood Gardens. The system, which was developed by USATechnologies Inc., allows students to use the internet to checkwhether any machines in a specific laundry room are available andhow much time is remaining on each machine’s load. Studentscan also sign up for an email notification that tells them whentheir laundry is finished.

Jonathan Potts, a spokesperson for theuniversity, commented that if the system is successful it will beinstalled campus wide in August, 2004-2005 school year. He alsoadded that students are able to activate the machines during thepilot period for free with a simple swipe of their ID cards,however if successful, there will be an increase in residenceaccommodation fees which will include a charge for unlimitedlaundry services to the students next fall.

There has been a positive feedback fromstudents on the campus about the new laundry system.

“Students call the housing servicesdepartment to say how good the service is. After the pilot a surveywill be introduced to gain a concrete feedback from thestudents,” Potts said

Among many other colleges in the district andthe nation, Howard University also has a contract with Caldwell andGregory to offer laundry services to the campus. However, there areno immediate negotiations with CGI and Howard to implement such assystem at Howard.

“I have not been notified about it.However, I know that we will be looking to update the laundry cardsystem,” said Justin Groves, Assistant to the Director ofEnvironmental Management.

Larry Frelow, building manager of the HowardPlaza Towers was quite knowledgeable and excited about the laundrysystem at Carnegie.

“We want to see how it will turn out andif there is a success at Carnegie, we will definitely look atbringing that system to the Howard Plaza Towers.”

John Gregory, president of CGI told BlackCollege View reporter that his company has intentions of offeringthis new system not only to schools in the Mid-Atlantic region butin the district also.

“Wherever there is an interest and ademand we are prepared to bring this technology to students,”Gregory said.

Black College View reporter learned uponspeaking to some students the reaction to the proposed system.While all the students expressed willingness to accept the laundrysystem some thought it was another effort to make a mundaneactivity technologically advanced.

Kellie Carter, a senior print journalism majorat Howard, is a student who shares this belief.

“The service is a good idea forstudents. I would consider using it. However, it seemstechnologically saturated and people are becoming too computerdependent. I wonder what greater implications it has onsociety.”

Ashley Kelly, a junior print journalismstudent shares a different view.

“It’s a good thing to have atHoward as it would add to the technology we have here. Howard isconstantly trying to become technologically advanced and thislaundry system will add to their efforts.”