October 22, 2011
Save Our Socks! The Truth About Laundry Theft
As many students here are aware, Bowling Green State University is not responsible for anyone’s lost or stolen items. This includes students’ laundry. According to Susan Fitzgerald’s’ article “Laundry Security – College Survival”, “students report theft from college laundry rooms every year.” There are numerous cases of reported laundry theft on each and every college campus. Although this crime may not seem as severe as others, according to Ian Sacks, laundry has “the same potential for theft and the same monetary losses as any more coveted item” such as a laptop or other electronic device. I feel that in order to stop laundry theft on college campuses, students should be required to bring a lock to put on in-use washers and dryers. By doing so, students protect themselves from not only laundry theft, but also the stress that comes along with it.
In order to make washers and dryers safer for students laundry, each BGSU student should be required to purchase a universal lock to put on the washer or dryer that they are using. Each student would be allowed to purchase one lock at the beginning of the year, and the serial number and combination would be recorded along with the students’ name. Each washer and dryer would have two small pieces of metal welded to it, one on the machine itself and one on its’ door. Each piece of metal would have a hole through the middle of it, turning each machine into somewhat of a “locker”. This would allow students to place the lock through the holes in the metal and assure that their laundry would not be stolen. The benefits of this idea would be that it reduces the already large amount of stress that is put on BGSU students, as well as preventing laundry theft. Students will have the peace of mind once again knowing that their clothes will be right where they left them.
Although this plan would cause a definite decrease in laundry theft, I feel that there would still be some people who wouldn’t like to do this. For example, many people put their laundry into the machine, and then walk away, leaving others to deal with it later on. This causes other people to either have to wait to do their laundry, or simply move that person’s laundry elsewhere, along with “irritat[ing] others who are waiting to use the machines” (Fitzgerald). However, with my system, each lock would have a combination for personal use, as well as a master key slot on the back. That way, when a students’ laundry has been left for too long (about a half hour to an hour), the person working at the front desk at the time could go and unlock the lock. After that, the laundry and lock would be moved to a safe place behind the front desk, and upon the students’ return, the laundry would have to be signed back to the student. These signatures would go on a semi-permanent record for the student, and after a certain number of times that their laundry had been left for too long, the student would have to start paying a flat fee for lock removal and laundry storage (probably around $5-$10). The permanent record would be renewed at the beginning of each semester in order to give the student a fresh start.
One problem that might arise by putting lock slots on the machines would be that people could put any lock that they wanted onto the machine. However, with my plan, non-regulation locks would simply be cut off, and the student’s laundry would be moved behind the front desk. Upon return, the student would have to pay a fee for non-regulation lock removal (around $10-$20), as well as have a note put on their permanent record.
Another reason why some people might not like this idea would be the cost. However, I feel that the cost of this project would not be very high. The only costs would be to install lock mechanisms onto the washers and dryers, and purchasing the locks that all students would then repurchase from the university. Also, all…