In an effort to better accommodate the number of packages delivered to the Campus Mail Center (CMC), upwards of 2,000 mailboxes will be removed to make room for a second electronic package locker in October.
Due to limited space in the CMC, the expansion will require “the elimination of 2,630 traditional mailboxes,” according to Director of University Facilities and Services Dave Nelson.
“Eliminating the mailboxes was not an easy decision, but it will allow us to meet student requests for greater access to package pickup,” said Nelson. “It also addresses the limited amount of space in the mail center facility.”
Mailbox numbers 271001 through 272440 and numbers 275921 through 277120 are slated for removal. Students without mailboxes will be able to retrieve letter mail at the Todd Union mail windows Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. during the academic year.
Students may also soon be able to receive notifications when their letter mail arrives, according to Nelson.
“We currently are piloting a way to alert students that they have letter mail using the same app that is currently used for package notifications,” he said. “If all goes well, we hope to have that up and running soon.”
Despite the removal of the mailboxes, the University’s mail service fee will remain in place.
The fee, which supports the processing of all mail, including letters, packages, and flat-size mail, is currently $36 per semester, according to the Office of the Bursar.
Letter mail has dwindled over the past few years on campus, according to Nelson. Today, the majority of deliveries to undergraduate students on River Campus are packages — nearly 60% on an average day, he said.
Among these deliveries, large and bulky items are hardly uncommon. Refrigerators, microwaves, carpets, and even tires have made their way to and through the Mail Center — and when students come to pick up their packages, the Mail Center often struggles to keep pace
The current locker bank, located in the basement of Todd Union, is trying to help alleviate some of the pressure.
Any mail exceeding 13 ounces — approximately the weight of an unopened can of soda — is placed into the package locker. Students will receive an alert that a package is waiting to be picked up, and they can then access the lockers to retrieve their items.
The lockers, which range in size from extra-small to extra-large, offer students multiple ways to access their packages, including self-service kiosks and a mobile app.
“The locker system helps eliminate the need to wait in line for package pick up, and packages can be retrieved whenever the building is open,” said Nelson.