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Monday, April 15, 2024

For students like Ruobin Chen, a 19-year-old UF computer science sophomore and Riker Hall resident, the financial obligations of paying for laundry is a growing burden. 

“Although it’s only like $3.20 with washing and drying, when I look at my budget sheet and when I track it, it does add up over the semester,” Chen said.

However, it appears these concerns are being acknowledged with the relaunch of an initiative that was last implemented in 2021. UF Student Government opened and announced applications for the reinstated Stay Fresh Laundry Grant Jan. 15.

The grant will provide each person with about $30 for washing and drying, and applicants will be accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis until the available funds are depleted. 

The Stay Fresh Laundry Grant aims to reduce financial insecurity some students have been experiencing.

Tomas Vazquez, a 17-year-old UF architecture freshman and resident of the Springs Residential Complex, said laundry rates are too high, and doing laundry should be considered a necessity.

“I feel like it is really absurd honestly,” he said. “I feel like it should be free.”

Student Body Treasurer Nyla Pierre said the Stay Fresh Laundry Grant is a response to students’ financial concerns.

“We listened to students when we were running,” Pierre said. “We heard their problems that they were facing. One of them happened to be laundry insecurity, and I think us as an administration this year, we are working to tackle and get our platform points done.”

When the Stay Fresh Laundry Grant was first enacted in 2021, students received a card with preloaded laundry funds. However, because laundry is now paid through an app, the money will be directly uploaded to each student’s account.

Tyeisha Johnson, a 20-year-old UF computer science freshman and resident of Simpson Hall, said she applied for the grant in hopes of saving some money.

“We’ll see how it goes, [but] I think it’s a really good initiative,” she said.

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While some students are optimistic about the grant, others have expressed concerns and are curious to see how it will actually be enforced.

“I wouldn’t be so upset about it if Student Government didn’t have a history of misappropriating funds and spending those funds on things that we don’t need,” said Sydney Engstrom, a 19-year-old UF psychology and sociology sophomore and off-campus resident. “I would be in favor of it if there were more information. There’s a lot of questions that are unanswered.”

Contact Annie Wang at awang@alligator.org. Follow her on X @wynwg.


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Annie Wang

Annie Wang is a first-year journalism major and a University General Assignment writer for The Alligator. In her free time, she enjoys reading and writing reviews on Goodreads.


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