ZB

Students no longer have to pay for washing after complaint to university

Author
Georgina Campbell, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Fri, 13 May 2022, 4:54pm
(Photo / Getty Images)
(Photo / Getty Images)

Students no longer have to pay for washing after complaint to university

Author
Georgina Campbell, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Fri, 13 May 2022, 4:54pm

Victoria University students have won their fight against paying $2 to do a load of washing on top of "extortionate" halls of residence fees.

A petition was launched this year to put an end to students in halls paying $2 to use a washing machine and another $2 to dry their laundry.

William Bell-Purchas, who led the campaign, said the charges were on top of the $13,000 to $20,000 students paid to stay at halls of residents per academic year.

Bell-Purchas said he paid $480 a week to live at Te Puni Village.

"Given the extortionately high fees students already pay to live in halls of residence, to charge them even more for every load of washing or drying is quite a slap in the face," he said.

More than 1600 students signed the petition.

Student and campus living director Rainsforth Dix emailed all hall residents this afternoon confirming the fees would be scrapped from the start of the second trimester.

She said it was good to meet with student representatives recently to discuss concerns about the charges.

"As a result of these constructive discussions, the university has evaluated the laundry fees situation.

"We agree that this is an essential service and we are therefore pleased to announce that charges on washing machines and dryers will be removed across all university-owned and managed halls of residence."

Bell-Purchas said the move would be a financial relief for thousands of students dealing with a cost-of-living crisis.

"People may say it's just a couple of dollars, but it's a couple of dollars every time you want to do a load of washing, plus another couple of dollars every time you want to dry your laundry.

"So, over the course of the year that adds up to be potentially hundreds of dollars or another week's worth of rent to stay in a hall of residence. For some students that's a really huge challenge."

Bell-Purchas said while there was more mahi to be done to improve student living, this change would make a difference.

"I'm really excited that our campaign for free laundry for students in halls has been successful.

"Thank you to all 1,608 people who signed the petition and made this possible. Also, thanks to Victoria University of Wellington for having the conversation and taking action."