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Residence Education unveils new laundry service, machines up and running

A fire truck parked in front of USF's Tower Hall
Overheating machines resulted in smoke alarms sounding off in all three residence halls last semester. Photo: Alex Mielcarz

As of Jan. 23, 2024 USF’s laundry crisis is no more. After a prolonged negotiation between the previous vendors, Director of Residence Education and Student Life Ceddi Carver and the university’s legal team battled through the last vendor’s attempts at extending the previous contract. 

When asked how the negotiations began, Carver expressed how once they wished to seek out a different contractor, “they didn’t take us seriously.” 

Once the previous company realized that ending the contract was what the university wanted, they attempted to force the university to extend the contract despite their machines not being up to par. 

Carver wanted to have a new contract with new machines on campus prior to the start of the spring semester but the ideal goal was always January. Between wrapping up the delays with the previous contracts and having them retrieve their machines, the process to move the new machines on campus was destined to take some time. This is typically a year long process that Carver expedited to a few months to accommodate the university’s desire for a better laundry service.

The university had multiple contracts with one vendor providing machines to the dorms in Motherhouse and the other providing services for both Tower and Marian Hall. This is why Motherhouse had their machines removed for a longer period of time in comparison to the other dorms..  

These factors contributed to the university’s desire to not only seek out a new contract but to consolidate vendors. After a brief yet challenging process, a new vendor was selected.

Laundry vendor Caldwell & Gregory (C&G) is the school’s new provider. C&G met Carver’s expectations and she was pleased with their “phenomenal customer service”. 

They matched the university’s wishes for a quick turnaround while providing a few perks and amenities that the last vendors did not. C&G are ADA (American Disability Act) compliant and provide weekly maintenance for the machines. They also provided each laundry room with a set of instructions for how to use the washers and dryers and how to keep the machines optimal. They have also provided a step-by-step guide to report problems with their machines. 

C&G will have one representative come to campus and help train students in the Residence Education Department how to properly operate the machines and provide them with resources to ensure that residents on campus also know how to operate the machines properly. The representative will have in-depth knowledge of the campus’ laundry facilities as opposed to the previous vendor’s representatives.

C&G has a companion app for their Speed Queen washers and dryers that will allow students to be notified when their laundry has finished washing or drying, display which machines are open and available and which machines may need maintenance. This feature has yet to be implemented on campus but Residence Education and IT (Information Technology) are looking to set this feature up in the future. The wiring and setup of each machine may alter the bandwidth of the school’s Wi-Fi so IT is in the process of figuring out how to include this feature on campus without drastic impacts on the Wi-Fi.

C&G is a well-known laundry vendor among universities and has provided laundry service to other institutions such as Aurora University, Loyola University Chicago, University of Illinois Chicago, Olivet Nazarene University and Valparaiso University. 

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