By Ella Bloom
After the recent hurricane, Idalia, students expected to see flooding from the rain and storm surge flooding. Instead, students see puddles of water from the schools’ washing machines.
The broken-washer problem extends beyond the malfunctioning machines themselves. UT staff does not do maintenance on the machines; instead, it contracts with a third party named CSC, which is supposed to fix the machines when they malfunction. However, students and staff have voiced concern that CSC has not adequately maintained the appliances.
A recurring problem has been water filling and pouring out of the machines, leaving students’ clothes soaking wet. “When I opened the door, my clothes were sitting in a bath of murky water, and I had to wring them out,” said Paige Davis, a resident in Vaughn. “I’m over the laundry room; it’s actually terrible.”
Frequently, these issues interfere with students’ classes, and they are learning to allocate extra time to do laundry because of the risks and challenges of using the machines. Brevard resident Sophie Miller said, “I had to grab all my clothes in the hot water, wring them out, and rewash them in a different washing machine, which is making my laundry take honestly double the time, which is very frustrating.” She added, “I gave myself a lot of time because I knew something like this could happen; it’s always risky when I decide to do laundry.”
Some UT students emphasized the time-consuming aspect of doing laundry on campus. Others said they pay too much in tuition, room and board to have machines that consistently don’t work. Students have even bonded over the issue. Morsani resident Grace Iadevaio said, “I hear people complain about the machines in the laundry room. I even made friends over it.”
Davis and Miller were told by their RAs that they couldn’t do anything about the situation because The University of Tampa does not own the machines. RA Dmitry Likhogrud said that when asked what to do about a broken machine, he tells students to submit a work order via CSC’s system.
CSC is the name of the company that the school leases washing machines and dryers from. This means no one on campus is permitted to fix the machines. If anyone attempts to fix the machines, it can nullify the school’s contract with CSC.
Cara Spoto, the director of business services at UT, said, “Their technicians are supposed to be coming out and fixing those machines promptly. We have noticed that they have not been doing that.” She added, “We are long overdue for new equipment; this has been requested multiple times a year from CSC, and the response that we get from them is, because of the supply chain on appliances, they were unable to obtain newer equipment.”
Spoto said the school is starting to get calls from angry parents. Meanwhile, students are told to use the QR code in the laundry room. The QR code takes you to a portal where you put the six-digit machine code in and state what is wrong with the machine, and a CSC technician is supposed to come.
As the Minaret was conducting interviews for this article, residents of Austin Hall received an email from UT ResLife that CSC would be on site for maintenance on Sept. 27 between 2-4 p.m., and the laundry room would be closed.
When The Minaret contacted CSC representative Rhonda Myers for a comment, she said she forwarded The Minaret’s email to her director for a response. However, CSC has not responded to repeated requests for a statement for this article.
Spoto said, “We do have enough evidence to get out of our contract, but the two years that we have left to ride it out really gives us time to do the right thing to work with our students.” She added, “CSC, unfortunately, is not the most responsive vendor, and that’s why, come July 1, 2025, we will be bringing in a new service provider.”