The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

UI Housing and Dining installs new laundry ID readers across dorms

After parting with the 4thID app, UI Housing and Dining has partnered with various companies to bring back student ID swiping for its laundry systems.
University+of+Iowa+student+Ava+Goldsmith+does+laundry+at+Hillcrest+residence+hall+in+Iowa+City+on+Sunday%2C+Feb.+4%2C+2024.+
Cody Blissett
University of Iowa student Ava Goldsmith does laundry at Hillcrest residence hall in Iowa City on Sunday, Feb. 4, 2024.

The University of Iowa has forgone its use of the laundry app 4thID to turn back to student ID card swiping in residence halls.

The 4thID app was installed and used during the 2022-23 academic school year with the hope that the digital platform would help students reserve machines and link their Hawkeye Dollars for payment.

However, several reports and issues arose regarding the app’s function, including a financial malfunction in April 2023 that ended up charging students for excess laundry transactions.

Von Stange, assistant vice president for student life and senior director of UI Housing and Dining, said in an email to The Daily Iowan that Washlava, the company initially running 4thID, was recently bought out and put under new management, which affected the use, function, and accessibility of the app.

The app was even removed from app stores for a period of time.

“Washlava’s software partner attempted to assume responsibility for the laundry operations,” Stange said. “They were able to get their apps restored to the Apple store and Google Play but did not have a timeline to fix the problem and enable compatibility with all mobile operating systems.”

 Stange added that this unreliable timeline was “unacceptable for the needs of our residents,” which prompted the switch.

UI Housing and Dining contacted Transact Campus, an approved UI software vendor that partnered with KioSoft, a software company, to provide UI Housing and Dining with payment readers to install on the washers and dryers.

The funds for the installation came from a facilities budget designed for equipment. However, Mayflower washers and dryers were not outfitted with the new student ID swiping system, leaving students to receive free laundry services for the rest of the spring semester.

“[UI Housing and Dining’s] partnership with software company KioSoft made it easier and timely to make that switch,” Stange said. “UHD maintenance, tech support, residence education, and business teams worked together to roll out a new laundry payment process over winter break to keep disruption to residents minimal.”

The new student ID payment readers were installed over winter break to greet students on Jan. 16. UI students expressed positive remarks about the new system, some of them happy that 4thID has been abandoned due to technical issues over the past few months.

“I know the app actually crashed a few different times for my friends,” Ava Goldsmith, a first-year journalism major, said. “It was really unfortunate because one of my friends actually had to Venmo a random girl to pay for her laundry.”

There have been, however, some issues regarding the new devices.

“I do know a couple people have encountered problems,” first-year Delaney Resnick, a business major, said. “Sometimes when you swipe and you press start, it doesn’t [start], so you have to stand there and make sure it starts [before leaving].”

Despite these problems, Stange said UI Housing and Dining plans to monitor the equipment, resident needs, and make future adjustments when necessary.

Editor’s Note: Ava Goldsmith is a former employee of The Daily Iowan.

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About the Contributor
Cody Blissett, Visuals Editor
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Cody Blissett is a visual editor at The Daily Iowan. He is a third year student at the University of Iowa studying cinema and screenwriting. This is his first year working for The Daily Iowan.