Fourth Estate/Tiffany Boggs

Students debate taking out other’s laundry which has been left in the dryer.


In line for a dryer? Students living on campus have access to a number of washers and dryers within their residential building. The wash cycle ends until the next step becomes the battle of the dryers.

A recent argument has come my way about students taking another student’s clothes out of the dryer, if they are left after the dry cycle ends. This is a situation that commonly takes place in all of the residential buildings on campus. The debate is centered around if students have the right to remove other student’s laundry, what allows this to happen, and where the clothes should be moved to.

As for myself, I’ve struggled getting a dryer immediately after my clothes were finished washing. I can recall living back in Hampton Roads, searching for an open dryer and either two things would happen: One, someone has not taken their clothes out yet, leaving me waiting for the person to come down. Two, the cycle is still going on. Oh, let’s not forget the best part of all. “OUT OF SERVICE!” 

I can remember clothes being everywhere, on top of the washers and inside of bags which were put in by maintenance workers because students would completely abandon their laundry. It was a mess. It’s understandable why students do this though because there are over a hundred plus students living in a building doing laundry at the same time. 

On certain days of the week, the laundry room is full, particularly on the weekends. I find myself going to the laundry room in the mornings when hardly any people are down there to avoid rush hour. It can get so busy that friends would tell me how their clothes were removed from the dryer before they even got a chance to reach the laundry room.

Other students share that they also do laundry only at certain hours in the day. Freshman Ryanne Mardini, a Criminology, Law and Society major, chooses to do her laundry at night. She explained how busy it was on one particular Sunday after seeing students remove clothes from the dryer that had been sitting in there for just ten minutes.

Mardini understands the need to move laundry from the dryer. “Unless it’s super-duper busy and everyone needs their things, I feel a little bad because a load would have your undergarments in it, and you don’t want those exposed to other people,” Mardini said, “but if it’s been ten minutes then, I’m like, no. Move the stuff because we need to get things rolling on.”

Sophomore Aaron Morton, a Biology major, says he has waited an hour for a dryer before. “I think that it should be reasonable if somebody’s [clothes] have been drying in the dryer for fifteen minutes and they haven’t gotten it out then you could take them out,” Morton said.

Senior Emond Dash, an Integrative Studies major with a concentration in Social Justice & Human Rights believes that taking out other people’s laundry is unethical. 

 “I would not take out somebody else’s laundry because it is a health hazard. We are still in a pandemic. We’re in the season where people are catching colds.” Dash said. “Another reason is that it can cause people to lose items. There’s not enough cameras in the laundry room.”

Dash shared that he had his clothes stolen once. “Freshman year, I got my J. Balvin shirt actually stolen. It was in the dryer. I can’t report it now because there’s no evidence; I checked the policy. If your stuff gets stolen, it’s your fault. They said you have to watch your stuff.” Dash said.

“It’s just unethical. You shouldn’t be touching other people’s clothes.” Dash said.

Laundry at Mason is considered the liability of the student. If a student has their clothes removed or missing, this would be the responsibility of the student who owns the laundry. According to the Housing and Residence Life Resident Student Handbook, “Residents are expected to monitor their personal belongings and remove their laundry immediately after the wash/dry cycle ends. Housing & Residence Life is not responsible for any personal items that are lost/missing while unattended in the laundry rooms.”

Regarding the dryer, I feel students do what they feel is necessary to get the job done. It’s not an easy right or wrong to remove other people’s clothes, because at some point everyone needs to use the washer and dryer and it’s not fair to be a machine hogger.