Student Mailboxes to be removed from University Center by Fall 2015

By the fall semester, students will no longer find their on-campus mailboxes on the ground floor of Roaden University Center because student mailboxes are being moved into the different resident halls. According to Claire Stinson, vice president for Planning and Finance, they are looking for ways to create more student-oriented space in the UC.

“What we’re finding is that our students are receiving less mail. At one time, the University did a lot of mailers and would stuff the students’ boxes, but now almost everything is electronic,” said Stinson. “It just seemed like it was time to take a look at how do we handle mail on campus.”

While the committee in charge of the plans has not made final decisions yet, they are looking at two possible options for the space. Some of the space could be used as a copy center, and the other part could become an IT station for students who need computer help.

"The thought is that we would take some of that space and make a copy center, similar to a Kinko’s,” Stinson said. “We’ve asked ourselves ‘Where do students go to get a project bound or if they need copies for a class? How can we make it more convenient for students to get these services?’ In order to do that, we have to look at what’s there and see what we can do more efficiently.”

There were rumors of a computer store filling the space, but according to Stinson they are looking into creating a location for students to go if they need something for their computer or if they need a computer worked on. The post office, however, will remain in the same place.

“I’ve never opened my mailbox on campus. I don’t even know the combination,” said Oscar Diaz, a sociology major at Tech. “I think that space is kind of wasted, and they could do more with it, but I’ll be graduating before I see any of the changes.”

There are still decisions to be made about the final setup for the new mailboxes as the school is currently looking into mail services and electronic service systems.

“There is a concept where some schools don’t have mailboxes but mail services.  If you got a letter today, it would be filed in a folder for you, and you would receive an email that says you have a letter or a package,” said Stinson. “Then when you come to the post office, you would slide your student ID in a machine similar to an ATM, and it would tell the post office personnel that you were there to pick up whatever they have for you.”

Privacy precautions are also under consideration.

“I don’t know this for a fact,” said Stinson, “but I’ve had people tell me that they graduated here in say 1960 and that they could still go up to their mailbox and open it. Whether that’s true or not, I don’t know, but I don’t like the idea that it’s a possibility.”

Stinson’s goal is to be able to provide U.S. Postal Service, FedEx and UPS Inc. on campus. Depending on what decision is made, there will still be mail service or extra mailboxes available to students who live off campus but wish to send and receive mail on campus.

“I think they should move the mailboxes or at least make them only for students that live on campus,” said Jacob Tyler, Tech sociology major. “I haven’t lived on campus since I was a freshman, but I still have to pay $16 a semester for that mailbox that I don’t use.”  

Stinson said they hope to have a decision pretty quickly, and she hopes it will be in effect by Fall 2015.