Student senator pushes for free on-campus laundry services

Student Senator Maurice Gilbert
Photo courtesy Gilbert

Sophomore student senator Maurice Gilbert is creating a student referendum to get free laundry services at Florida A&M University.

The idea came to Gilbert over the summer as he conducted research about mental and emotional health and how they correlated to “simple needs.” He discovered that the pleasure that humans feel after completing small tasks can positively affect them mentally. He took this newfound information and applied it to FAMU and how it would affect students doing laundry for free on campus.

“If students did not have to pay for laundry on campus they would be more likely to go to class, feel better about themselves and overall build their confidence. I am doing this so low-income and first-generation students have the best transition to college,” said Gilbert. 

Andre Harper, a fellow sophomore who resides in on-campus housing, is on board. “That should come automatically, because we already pay a lot to stay on campus,” Harper said.

“It would be a great opportunity for students with no income to have because they are already spending whatever money they are receiving from home on that,” Harper added.

It costs $1.75 to wash and $1.50 to dry your clothes in a dormitory washing room. In total, it takes $3.25 for students to run clothes through one entire wash cycle. Harper and Gilbert agreed that those funds could be used to go toward basic needs like groceries, access codes for books and toiletries.

Student Senate President Christopher Miller also agrees with Gilbert on the issue of free laundry services.

“I think it’s something that is needed on campus,” Miller said.

When asked for this thoughts on Gilbert’s efforts, Miller said he believes that the cost of laundry services should be included in overall housing costs. 

“I don’t think it’s a step forward for the student senate, I think it is a step forward for the university as a whole,” Miller said.

Gilbert is spearheading this student referendum in conjunction with Student Housing. The referendum will be available Nov. 12 and Gilbert is asking all students to sign and make free on-campus laundry services obtainable. 

“It is imperative that students let their voices be heard through this referendum so that the university knows their attitudes towards this issue and realize it’s what students really want,” Gilbert said.