Every dorm on campus lost access to hot water, affecting their washing machines and showers due to the gas leak in Andover, North Andover, and Lawrence on September 13. Most dorms, besides those in the Abbot Cluster, have since then regained use of hot water and clothes dryers.
To remedy this problem, Jennifer Elliott ’94, Dean of Students and Residential Life, and Theodore Parker, Dean of Abbot Cluster, sent out an email Monday detailing complementary E&R Laundry service to all students affected by the lack of hot water on campus.
“It was an attempt to continue service or continue a sense of normalcy for students despite the fact that not all of the dorms have gas services. So, part of the campus has restored its gas services and for a lot of the Abbot older dorms it’s probably going to be a while until gas is restored so we’re providing E&R for those students,” Parker said in an interview with The Phillipian.
Since Abbot dorms are older, their gas lines are linked to those that caused the gas leaks and fires last Thursday. Every dorm in Abbot except Stearns House will need to replace their gas lines.
“Abbot is unique because of the fact we have these older buildings so we have these low-pressure gas lines and that is part of the problem. Those are going to have to be replaced,” said Parker,
Many students, including Emma Lowry ’21, a resident of Stowe House, are excited about the chance to try out the service.
“I’m excited only because I’ve never had laundry service before. It’s always been something that I wasn’t going to do because it was just easier for me to do my own laundry,” said Lowry.
Jack Diodati ’20, a Prefect in French House, said he appreciated the convenience and cost-effectiveness of the laundry service.
“[The laundry service] makes things a little easier because I don’t have to do the laundry myself and I don’t have to pay for it. But the only bad thing is I have to wait a couple more days than I would normally when I do it myself,” Diodati said.
Although gas had not been working for almost a week, some students neglected to realize that the dryers did not work. This led to a variety of mishaps, according to Megan Vaz ’21.
“My friend and I wanted to do our laundry last weekend so we went to Whitney [House] without reading the email that was sent saying that dryers on campus did not work yet. After we washed our clothes… one of my friends mentioned that we were not supposed to use dryers on campus. My friend and I panicked as we thought we had destroyed Whitney House with our foolish mistake. So, we rushed back to Whitney just to find that our clothes were just sitting wet in the dryer… Our efforts at air-drying them were not very successful. It smelled so musty,” said Vaz.
While it is difficult to not have access to clothes dryers, Parker reminded students that many people in other affected communities are not as lucky to have the resources Andover does.
“We’re really lucky that we have this option and we have the resources and the backing from the school to offer this to all of us right now. In the scheme of things, I think there are people that are significantly impacted by this that aren’t as lucky as us, so I think it’s important to just kind of keep things in perspective,” said Parker.