In a recent Alligator story, one graduate housing resident expressed his view that a university ban on clotheslines represented a lack of environmental friendliness. But readers deserve to know that when this same clothesline suggestion was proposed at a Tanglewood Village community meeting, it gathered little support among residents. Why? Because Tanglewood is mainly family housing.
Clotheslines present a hazard to our children. Hook-like clothespin springs are a choking danger. Downed nylon wires present a strangulation risk. Sheets tended over grassy places would lead to accidents for children zooming along on bicycles and scooters.
But it doesn't stop there. The cover of hanging laundry is an invitation to thieves. In village housing, we know our neighbors, and anything that obstructs visibility impairs our ability to report suspicious activity.
Graduate and Family Housing already has done much for the environment, installing not just compact fluorescent light bulbs, but also energy-conserving washers and dryers. Our apartments use heat pumps instead of inefficient conductive heating, and our shaded lawns stay green without irrigation year-round.
In light of these advancements, are the benefits of clotheslines worth the risks? We doubt it. Of course, anyone who badly wants clotheslines is free to look for an apartment community that permits them.
After all, why would you live in family housing if family isn't your top priority?