Maia Tonoukouin, an SF State student, collects her clothes from the washing machine at one of the university’s laundry rooms on Friday, Feb. 17, 2023. Tonoukouin would wash once a week but because of the amount of broken machines, she now washes once every two weeks. (Gina Castro / Golden Gate Xpress) (Gina Castro)
Maia Tonoukouin, an SF State student, collects her clothes from the washing machine at one of the university’s laundry rooms on Friday, Feb. 17, 2023. Tonoukouin would wash once a week but because of the amount of broken machines, she now washes once every two weeks. (Gina Castro / Golden Gate Xpress)

Gina Castro

Students petition for new washing machine company

Campus housing residents have had issues regarding in-building washing machine, but there is a chance new ones are coming.

February 18, 2023

When Lindsey Gonzalez, a biology major at SF State, does her laundry, she is greeted by two washing machines – one saying error and the other falling apart with the bottom half completely busted off. There is one machine that seems decent, but she will later find out the washer did not actually wash her clothes, only spun in circles with no water.

Gonzalez lived on campus in 2019 at the Village at Centennial Square until the COVID-19 pandemic forced her to move back home. She moved back into campus housing last spring semester in University Park South.

Gonzalez said her experience at the Village was great, but has been terrible at UPS. She is not alone in her laundry tribulations at SF State.

Elijah Manjarrez, a third-year civil engineering major, has been living on campus for a year and a half. He previously lived in the Village, but currently resides in UPS.

An out of order washing machine located at one of SF State’s laundry rooms on Friday, Feb. 17, 2023. Students have expressed their frustration with the broken machines and some have signed a petition to get a new laundry company. (Gina Castro / Golden Gate Xpress) (Gina Castro)

Manjarrez said that his experience with the laundry machines at SF State has been less than favorable.

“The laundry machines in Village are almost always up and they have a massive room,” Manjarrez said in an email. “In UPS, all our community has is an unlabeled laundry room. It’s a decently sized room that is pretty much empty beside the four washers and dryers that are in there.”

There are only three laundry buildings in each block at UPS. These blocks are called two, five and 42.

According to Manjarrez, the main issue is the washing machines are broken most of the time.

“SFSU needs to put in more laundry machines and get them fixed quicker,” Manjarrez said. “They are broken for, sometimes, weeks on end. Last semester there was a two-week stretch where there were no working laundry machines.”

Jeny Patino, the executive director of Housing, Dining and Conference Services at SF State, said the organization has been working on concerns of the laundry machines for six weeks.

According to Patino, issues involving dryer machines going out at the Towers at Centennial Square have increased.

“There could be a number of factors that are contributing to the concerns,” Patino said in an email. “The main ones – proper machine usage, ventilation and/or machine reliability.”

When asked what she thought of students’ claims of laundry machines being an issue for years now, Patino said she heard of no such rumors.

“I am not aware of any one specific issue that has been ongoing for years,” Patino said. “That said, sporadic issues will arise.”

Gonzalez’s biggest issue is that she doesn’t think the school treats these problems as a priority since they have persisted for a year now.

“I think it’s absolutely ridiculous that we pay more than $2000 a month to live here and they can’t get more washing, drying machines for our community,” Gonzalez said in an email. “The school is extremely quick to take our money, so they should be just as quick to do what we ask.”

Isabel Lopez is a creative writing major living in University Park North’s highrise.

Lopez previously lived in the Towers last year and said both communities are less than ideal.

You’re building new housing, but aren’t even taking care of the housing that already exists,” Lopez said.

Patino said she is listening to students’ voices and concerns.

“David Rourke, director of Residential Life, and I met with about 120 student leaders last week that represent our housing students to address the current dryer issues in TCS, as well as the petition, and are supportive of their request for changes,” Patino said.

According to Patino, the potential replacement of machines could take four weeks and if they do get a new company, it will happen during the summer.

“The company is currently doing a full audit of each machine,” Patino said. “There is already a commitment of replacing some of the dryers in TCS. We are also researching our options regarding making a change to a different company.”

Lopez said the college should invest in new machines, but if they can’t, they should fix the broken machines as soon as they are reported.

“I don’t think that they’re bad machines or the company is bad, the school and the people who use them don’t take care of them,” Lopez said. “The school just needs to do a better job of keeping up with the necessary maintenance they require.”

Manjarrez said residential aids for block five in UPS have been a great help.

“Shout out to Jeanette and Peter, they have been lobbying and fighting for us all semester and even previous semesters,” Manjarrez said.

Manjarrez signed the petition in hopes of getting a new washing machine company and hopes other residents will sign it, too.

Those interested in signing the petition to get a new laundry company, click here.

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About the Contributors
Photo of Samantha Morales
Samantha Morales, Campus Editor
Samantha Morales (she/her) is this semester's campus editor for Golden Gate Xpress, where previously she was a reporter. She is now a fourth-year journalism major and minor in criminal justice studies at SF State. After she graduates from SF State, she hopes to report on crime in the Bay Area or from her hometown. Samantha is originally from Selma, California, but went to school at Fresno City College before transferring to SF State. At Fresno City College, she was previously the News and Entertainment editor for the college’s student-run news publication, The Rampage. In her free time, she enjoys working out, whether it is at home or a gym. She also enjoys painting and building Lego sets when she is not working on a story
Photo of GIna Castro
GIna Castro, Staff Photographer
Gina Castro (she/her) is a staff photographer for Golden Gate Xpress. She is a Mexican-American photojournalism major and Africana studies minor. She was born in San Francisco and still resides in the Bay Area. Her passions are concert photography, portraiture and creative projects. She hopes to have her own studio one day. When she isn't taking pictures, Gina enjoys finding new spots to chill with her dogs Kuma and Zuko, traveling, listening to music and trying new food.

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