Yale Daily News

At 4 p.m. Saturday, an employee at the Yale Student Package Receiving Center came outside to deliver some bad news to the students still queuing by its entrance: It was closing time, and she had to cut off the line — which stretched about halfway to the Willoughby’s on the corner — at the center’s door.

“We’ve been waiting here for 30 minutes,” one student, who had almost reached the door of the center, told her.

She took a look at the line, instructed the students to pile into the vestibule area of the building and locked both of the center’s doors to prevent any more package seekers from entering. Students who exited the center shortly thereafter said they had waited in line for around two hours to receive their packages.

This was not the first day students had to wait in line for hours to receive their packages. Although delays and lines at the center were not a problem for the three weeks before Labor Day, according to Yale Director of Support Services Donald Relihan, long lines became a major problem last Thursday.

“August and September are our busiest two months of the academic year,” Relihan wrote in an email to the News. “This academic year so far, volume has increased significantly over previous years. … We anticipate the current surge in package volume to return to normal levels by the beginning of October.”

To alleviate the problem, the center will double its staff — which normally has two full-time employees during August and September, and just one for the rest of the academic year — and introduce a mobile package pickup location starting Tuesday until the volume returns to regular levels, Relihan said. The temporary trailer will be located in the parking lot behind the Student Package Receiving Center and will serve students with last names beginning with N through Z.

Dean of Yale College Marvin Chun said the delays at the center “trouble [him] a lot,” adding that he believes a two-hour wait is too long. He also said that the Yale College Council has been working with him to introduce Amazon Lockers to campus.

Serengeti Cox-Rodriguez ’23 and Crystal Wang ’23 waited together in line Saturday — the former for a package, the latter just for moral support — for two hours. As they waited, they listened to music and played Word Blitz on their phones, they said. Although neither student had any previous experiences with the center, both noted that it seemed there was room to increase its efficiency.

On Monday, Akshar Agarwal ’23 waited in line for two hours after he received an email saying he had received a package. He arrived at the center at 2 p.m. and was the final student served at 4 p.m., when the employees asked everyone behind him to leave because it was closing time. When he received the package, he realized that it was not his at all, but rather his sister’s, who shares his last name.

Teigist Taye ’22 arrived at the center around 1:30 p.m. Saturday and left at 3:40 p.m., she said. At the time, the line stretched all the way to Willoughby’s on the corner of the street. She was expecting two packages but was told that the center’s employees could only find one of them and she should return a different day to pick up the other.

But, on the bright side, “a kind soul came and handed out free food to people in the line from the CS50 event” while she was waiting, Taye added.

The Student Package Receiving Center is located at 250 Church St.

Asha Prihar | asha.prihar@yale.edu

Asha Prihar served as managing editor of the News during the 2019-20 academic year. Before that, she covered community service, Yale's professional schools and undergraduate student life as a staff reporter. She is a senior in Silliman College studying political science.