Socialists at AOC's alma mater Boston University demand free laundry

Boston University's Young Democratic Socialists of America demanded free laundry for students because of the burden it places on "less affluent" students, specifically, who have less clothes and must therefore wash more frequently.

The group said it will call on the university to provide free laundry, but the school says no formal request has been submitted.

Boston University’s Young Democratic Socialists of America has created an initiative demanding that the university provide laundry services at no cost to students.

According to The Daily Free Press, this action first came up in November when YDSA called on the school to provide more student support. The group conducted a survey asking participants how much they spend on laundry per month and how often they do laundry.

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The survey states that it is ridiculous for a school that charges $60,000 in tuition to charge students any more money to do laundry, adding that  “there is plenty of money in the budget for the university to take this burden off of its student body.” 

The survey results indicated that just under 50 percent of students surveyed pay more than $10 per month to do laundry, with the current cost to do laundry being $1.75 for either a wash or dry cycle. 

According to the Daily Free Press, the YDSA hopes to accomplish the plan in two phases. 

The first phase is by leaving QR codes in laundry rooms for students to scan with their phones and be added to a list calling for free laundry. The second phase is to face off with the administration, claiming the cost of laundry is an “unjust burden.”

Boston University YDSA President Anthony Buono told the Daily Free Press that attaining free laundry services is a way to end “cyclical poverty” and that “someone who may not be as well-off as the other people in their community would have less clothes, which means they’d have to do laundry more often, which means they are most damaged by the recurring laundry costs.” 

Another YDSA member, Arlo Hatcher, said that it is ridiculous to have to pay for laundry and that even for students on a scholarship “it’s still something that’s expensive for them.”

BU YDSA is also looking into finding out if the university is profiting from laundry costs.

Since BU YDSA released its plans of action, editors from the Boston University Daily Free Press wrote an editorial, saying the group’s demands are dismissive of the school’s “financial standings.” 

The editorial says that although BU’s laundry costs are higher than other campuses’ costs and is an essential, “asking the University to completely do away with the cost of laundry is imposing a difficult demand. In addition to an extensive COVID-19 testing system on campus, the University is dealing with furlows [sic] and salary freezes as a result of the pandemic.”

The editorial also argued that it would make more sense to call for an adjustment in laundry prices rather than completely doing away with the costs.

Boston University Executive Director of Media Relations told Campus Reform declined further comment since “nothing has been formally submitted to the university for consideration.” 

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