Yale Station looks to combat early-semester delays

In response to the complaints of students receiving their packages during the past few weeks, Yale Station has made several new changes to ensure it will operate without major delays.

Since the semester began, the post office has been struggling to keep up with the heavy influx of packages, resulting in extensive backlogs and long lines. The post office has staffed additional employees, extended opening hours and added an operational window for more effective parcel distribution to combat this year’s marked increase in parcels.

“We are seeing increased package growth this year, and volume is higher than last year,” said Christine Dugas, Connecticut United States Postal Service spokeswoman. “We have put in additional resources to meet the needs of that growth.”

The post office’s extended hours began last week. The parcel window stayed open until 7 p.m. Monday through Friday rather than closing at the traditional 5 p.m. time, and on Saturday, Yale Station remained open two hours past the normal 2 p.m. closing, Dugas said.

The station also added an entirely new storage space near the Elm Street door to alleviate the waiting line congestion. Students receiving package slips with “Elm St.” written on them can pick up their packages at the separate window. Still, the majority of parcels are stored behind the original window, said an employee of Yale Station who wished to remain anonymous because she was not authorized to speak to the press.

The recent changes have been placing bigger burdens on the station’s employees, causing Yale Station to bring on more staff. The employee interviewed said that she has been working almost 12 hours a day, even though her regular schedule includes only eight hours a day. Last Sunday, extra postal personnel worked to scan packages and place the notices on the P.O. boxes so students could get them sooner, Dugas said.

Dugas added that the station is still trying to develop better solutions to deal with the backlogs during the school’s opening weeks. The New Haven Postmaster, who oversees Yale Station, and other postal officials have met more than once with administrators from Yale Mail Services to work on a partnership that would notify students via email when their package has arrived, she said.

Students interviewed gave mixed responses. While all 15 students interviewed said they had to wait in a line that ranged from 15 to 40 minutes to receive their packages, six students said they understood the situation and that they did not blame Yale Station for the delays, considering the enormous amount of packages ordered by the entire student body.

Rachel Jones ’17 said she found it “frustrating” to have to wait a week to receive a package she needed immediately from home, even after she had received an email the parcel had arrived. Still, she said the delays have improved from last week and that she recieved her package more promptly than those she received at the start of the school year.

Daniel Tahara ’14 said he suggests implementing a better system to tell students which type of packages can be sent to their residential college master’s office. He added that employing students at the post office might be a good solution to the post office’s problem with understaffing.

All Yale students are required by the U.S. postal regulations to have a U.S. post office box in order to receive mail on campus.

Previously reported here. Previous opinion piece here.

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