Statement on Providing Laundry Subsidies

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FROM: The Fifth Senate of the Vassar Student Association (VSA)

TO: The Administration, Vassar College

As an institution that prides itself on supporting all financial backgrounds as an accessible liberal arts education, Vassar must consider the financial hardship associated with living in a residential college. Currently, Vassar provides subsidized printing, Arlington Bucks, and Popup Bucks; however, it has yet to adopt a similar subsidized program for laundry services. Especially in the midst of a global pandemic and economic recession, students face a variety of unique circumstances that have negatively impacted their ability to afford such basic necessities. 

Given that the College provides subsidized printing, it recognizes these needs directly imposed onto students and addresses them in a manner to support academic success. However, the College fails to recognize the same need for students to have continuous access to laundered clothes, which is a fundamental necessity to ensure that students remain in a suitable learning and living environment. At present, the College’s delay in providing students with a laundry subsidy forces students, particularly those who come from lower-income backgrounds, to pay for their laundry services through their student work-study financial aid allocations. This inaction undercuts the core principles of supporting a diverse student body and demonstrates the College’s indifference to limiting access to laundry services while receiving revenue from students’ work-study allocations.

We ask that the College provide a $50 subsidy program to all students, particularly to those receiving financial aid. This program would ensure that Vassar holds its commitments to our diverse student body and remains supportive of improving the student life experience on campus. As an institution, Vassar has an obligation to ensure all of its students, regardless of their financial status, are able to exist comfortably as we strive to achieve our mission as an equitable community. In granting all students such a necessity as clean clothing, we may move towards actually doing so. 

Sincerely,

The Fifth Senate of the Vassar Student Association