New mail systems shake up campus

Recent changes in the postal system at Yale will likely have mixed results for students.

In an effort to improve the campus-wide system for picking up mail, Yale Station — the central post office for most students — has opened up delivery truck stations outside of Old Campus. In another change related to campus mailings, Yale’s Student Receiving Center has moved from Elm Street to the corner of Prospect and Sachem Streets on Science Hill.

Yale Station’s new delivery trucks outside of Old Campus are being used to process the purchasing of stamps, rent out P.O. boxes and to hand out keys for those who purchased their P.O. boxes online. The United States Postal Service (USPS) station offered two delivery trucks during the move-in period when new freshmen were arriving on campus, but is now offering only one truck since the initial rush for P.O. box service is over.

Local USPS spokesperson Christine Dugas said in an email that the extra delivery truck “acts as if there is another retail station there.”

With the addition of the delivery truck, Dugas said that the station hopes to cut down on the time it takes for students to rent a P.O. box by providing extra personnel to help with the applications. According to Dugas, the P.O. box renting process this year is more organized than it was before, and the extra personnel at the station have made the process more efficient.

But not all students have felt the effects of these changes. Many still described their experiences at Yale Station as lengthy and confusing.

In past years, students have experienced delays in parcel-sorting at the station, which has led to long lines waiting for package pick-up. This is especially the case during the busy opening weeks of school as students receive a spiked number of packages with course materials.

Melody Wang ’16 recounted one past experience in which she ordered a textbook for the fall that did not arrive until November.

But the long lines that students have bemoaned have been shorter now with the new changes in effect, Dugas said.

However, Wang said that packages seem to be arriving at a reasonable time recently, and the line has also improved. Things are much better than the “incredible headache” of last year, she said. Still, all five students interviewed said they would like for the package delivery system at Yale to be more efficient.

Yale Station is also attempting to facilitate the package-receiving process by asking students, in a paper form, if they would like to receive emails when their packages arrive. This way, according to Dugas, “they do not have to lose any of their valuable study time.”

But though Yale Station has implemented a series of positively received reforms this semester, the relocation of the Student Receiving Center — which used to be located by the New Haven Green and is now on Science Hill — is causing many students to grumble. The center receives mail that is delivered by the United Parcel Service (UPS), FedEx, and other carriers, and is particularly used by freshmen who have not yet purchased a P.O. box at Yale Station.

Students interviewed said that having to pick up their boxes at Science Hill is an inconvenience.

Wang called going so far to pick up packages an “incredible nuisance.”

It’s a commonplace problem that a lot of students face,” she said. “Relocating the delivery center impacts everyone in a significant way.”

According to an email from Associate Vice President for Student Life Marichal Gentry, other changes to the campus mailing system that are being implemented this year include delivery of UPS and FedEx packages to Yale Station and free signature-on-file services.

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