Mail Center repackaging its setup

As the undergraduate population continues to grow, Auxiliary Services is making plans to strengthen campus infrastructure. Among these plans are renovations to the Mail Center that are to be determined.

Xavier’s Mail Center was built to handle large volumes of letters written to students, faculty and administration. Mailing Center Specialist Todd McDillon explained that the back of the mail center is set up in a U-shape that was efficient for distributing letters.

However, a lot has changed in the mailing industry since the early days of the Mail Center. For one, most people don’t regularly send letters to communicate with each other. Additionally, as online shopping services such as Amazon Prime have grown, so has the number of packages.

This influx of packages rather than letters has led to hours upon hours of wasted time behind the counter. McDillon added that on peak days, the inefficient U-shaped layout of the mail center has lost him and his staff up to six hours of time.

Students have noticed the consequences of the inefficient setup. “Whenever I’ve been there, there’s always been a line,” junior Chandler Bell said. “It works, it’s just irritating.”

One of the contributors to long waiting times is the aforementioned U-shaped setup of the Mail Center. Each half of the Mail Center is designated to a half of the alphabet. If there are two students picking up packages whose last names are on the exact opposite side of the alphabet, it can take a while for Mail Center workers to scan, sort and log where each of their packages are stored.

Sophomore Anna Moug, who works at the Mail Center, explained that students not following procedures also wastes time.

“A lot of delays happen because when Amazon tells you your package has been delivered — or FedEx, or UPS — it hasn’t actually been delivered to the Mail Center unless you get an email from us,” Moug said.  “When people come in without an email, we have to check for a package that we don’t have, which really slows down the process.”

Additionally, the Mail Center has already gone to lengths to accommodate the large number of packages. Brandi Bryant, Assistant Director of Auxiliary Services, explained.

“Over the last few years we’ve had to rent a Pod just to accommodate for the larger volume of mail (and packages),” Bryand said. “We couldn’t hold (all of the packages) within the Mail Center the way our current configuration is set up.”

Beyond waiting lines, students have expressed that their packages have been lost.

“My grandma sent me a package in November, and I checked before (Thanksgiving) break. When I checked on Valentine’s Day, it showed up,” first-year Samaya Jackson said.

Moug didn’t blame the setup of the facility for this issue but instead accepted the blame on behalf of student workers.

“I mean, I don’t really wanna make an excuse. It’s not cool that packages are lost, but we’re getting better,” Moug said.

The renovations to the Mail Center will be accompanied this summer by renovations in Brockman Hall and construction of the Health United Building.

By: CJ Ripepi | Staff writer