Mail Center Receives Nearly 13,000 Items Each September

Students+wait+in+line+to+pick+up+packages+from+the+mail+center%2C+where+staff+work+extra+hours+to+keep+up+with+the+annual+start-of-semester+surge.+Colin+Boyle+%E2%80%9918+flexes.
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Mail Center Receives Nearly 13,000 Items Each September

Students wait in line to pick up packages from the mail center, where staff work extra hours to keep up with the annual start-of-semester surge. Colin Boyle ’18 flexes.

Students wait in line to pick up packages from the mail center, where staff work extra hours to keep up with the annual start-of-semester surge. Colin Boyle ’18 flexes.

Photo by Aidan Acosta

Students wait in line to pick up packages from the mail center, where staff work extra hours to keep up with the annual start-of-semester surge. Colin Boyle ’18 flexes.

Photo by Aidan Acosta

Photo by Aidan Acosta

Students wait in line to pick up packages from the mail center, where staff work extra hours to keep up with the annual start-of-semester surge. Colin Boyle ’18 flexes.

By JAMES FINN

Each September, the student mail center sees its highest volume of incoming mail items, processing close to 13,000 packages and pieces of general mail in just one month.

These packages often containing supplies sent to students as they move in, according to Jennifer Erwin, a facilities manager.Erwin said that the center on average processes 7,000 items during the other months of the school year.

While the excess of packages poses challenges for the staff, a number of steps are taken to prepare for the back-to-school rush. Student workers are trained, special storage accommodations are made, and staff work special hours.

“We prepare for this increase in many ways,” Erwin said. “We utilize the student package warehouse during September to help with processing all oversized packages such as mattress pads, bikes and TVs, thus freeing up much needed space in the mail center.” The warehouse is located behind the student center on South Service Road.

Erwin said student workers also help with the rush.

“By doing their routes and helping at the window, it allows the mail center staff to focus on processing the high volume of incoming mail and packages,” Erwin said. “We also work Saturday mornings during the month of September, allowing us to get a jump start on processing mail and packages that have been received on Saturday, and it allows students a window of time to pick up their packages on the weekend.”

According to Erwin, a large part of keeping the mail center running smoothly during September is communicating with the student body about how to best navigate mail pickup process during the September rush.

Erwin said that students waiting to receive an email from the center and reading these emails carefully is key in keeping the pickup process running smoothly.

“We try hard to educate the student body to review the proper information which is included in their email message from the mail center to help us deliver their packages,” she said. “This information being how many packages they have and what type they are.”

“And we also encourage the students to wait to receive an email from the mail center and not to come down when they receive an email from the sender telling them their package has arrived,” Erwin said. “Only when they receive the email from the mail center has their package been received and processed and ready to pick up.”

Students generally pick up school supplies and items forgotten at home during September.

“I’ve picked up two packages and am expecting to get two more this week,” Hannah Gokaslan ’20.5 said. “They’ve mostly been books and stuff for my dorm that I forgot to bring with me.”

Students also said that mail pickup at the center has run smoothly, despite the rise in processing in September.

“I don’t think it’s been that much more crowded than usual, although I went to pick up my mail on a Friday, which is always kind of busy,” Gokaslan said.

Erwin said that, overall, the mail center staff looks forward to September, despite the high processing volume.

“While there is a huge increase in the volume of mail and packages, and this in itself brings challenges, we look forward to this time of year and prepare for it,” she said. “We enjoy what we do and look forward to getting the packages and mail to the students in a timely manner.”

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