Linen, Laundry Services Stop Room Deliveries in Yard

Students living in the Yard no longer receive room to room deliveries of linen and laundry. Under a new Administration ruling, representatives of the Coop Laundry, Gold Coast Valeteria and Gorden Linen have been denied entrance to all dormitories in the Yard.

Instead of dropping their dirty linen and laundry in front of their doors on their way to classes and returning to find the bundles magically whisked away in exchange for neat packages of fresh sheets and towels. Freshmen must now trudge to one of seven Harvard Student Agencies operated depots at rigidly specified hours, to wait in line for their clean shirts and sheets.

According to HSA officials the Administrative decision became necessary for two reasons: bundles in the halls on pickup days caused obstructions and possible fire hazards, and were too open to pilferage.

For the Gordon Linen Company at least, the depots have their advantages. Each year a number of packages of sheets disappear from the hallways to adorn the beds of students not contracting for the weekly service or to provide bedding for the friend down for the week end to see the Yale game.

Under the depot system it is virtually impossible for a student to receive an extra bundle, as sheets are given only to students registered for the weekly plan who pick them up in person and have their names checked off the list.


For the laundry services, however, the advantages are somewhat less clear. One of Gold Coast's chief attractions has been that their return of laundry is a day faster than the Coop. Now they can only offer identical service.

It is not known why the University's reasons for the decision did not force the same action in the Houses--or if the Yard system is merely a field experiment which will be expanded in the future.

In a meeting of Gold Coast, Coop, and HSA officials--Gordon Linen was not represented--Ben Jacobson of Gold Coast broached this question of expansion to HSA's Dustin M. Burke '54. Burke declined comment.

The same meeting brought out other issues which were raised by the Administration's ruling. Gold Coast and the Coop complained they were notified of the decision only the Thursday before registration--after they had already advertised that their services included door to door deliveries.

Apparently Gordon Linen was not thus inconvenienced. In the service contracts they mailed to freshmen this summer, they specified that linen was to be exchanged at conveniently located stations in the Yard, a change from last year's policy.

Most freshmen contacted were hardly satisfied with their present service. Ronald Gerard '65 said he was too late to pick up his linen last Monday. "I've been calling the HSA all week," he declared, "and I still haven't gotten my linen. I ended up washing my own sheets."

Randolph L. Williams '65 complained that the line at the depot was so long he was "15 minutes late getting to my dining hall job at Adams." And all over the Yard long lines and slow service were reported.

In his answer to Jacobson, Burke provided the best, and possibly only rationalization of the depots. The Administration decision is final, he said, and the only alternative to the depot is for the students to deal directly with the offices of the companies involved.

For the present, freshmen stand in line for their linen. As one sophomore remarked, "I'm certainly glad I'm in a House this year--at least for the time being."

Recommended Articles