“Laundry is finally free and we’re all gonna smell and look better!” says Brooklyn Manna ’24. After years of student activism around laundry costs, laundry will be free for students on campus—at least for now.
“I think about it like this: Brown wouldn’t charge you for soap, right?” says Undergraduate Finance Board (UFB) Vice Chair Arjun Krishna ’25, explaining why the UFB signed on to the free laundry effort as part of its work on improving financial accessibility. “It’s a public utility.”
The Undergraduate Council of Students (UCS) has also been a major player. “We signaled very strongly to every level of administration that free laundry was a top priority for students, and we’d follow up with them constantly on the matter,” says UCS President Ricky Zhong ’23.
Laundry became temporarily free at first because of the phasing in of new machines. The policy kept getting extended due to delays and supply chain issues. “The terms of the contract allowed for future exploration of alternative payment options for students, including offering complimentary laundry services,” says Brenda Ice, senior dean of Residential Life. In March it became official when ResLife announced there’ll be no charge for laundry services for the foreseeable future.
Students were thrilled. “I’m excited to never use Bear Bucks for laundry again. Also, now I’m more inclined to separate my colors and take better care of my clothes because I’m not trying to do the biggest loads possible,” says Hannah Beakley ’25.