It is often exciting to receive an e-mail stating "You have a package" waiting in the mailroom. And anyone who has ever picked up a package from the mailroom has probably noticed that the people who work behind the counter are both friendly and very good at what they do.
Holly Smith, a sophomore who works in the mailroom as part of a work-study program, was given several choices of where she wanted to work and chose that location. "I didn't want to work with food," she said, "and I was curious to see how mail actually works."
There are many students involved in mail services either through work-study or temporary service under the direction of Cindy Wood and mail clerk Marie Burley. The whole mail process starts early in the morning. Around 9:30-10 a.m., which is the busiest time, the U.S. Postal Service and DHL drop off all the packages, bills, postcards and letters to be checked in.
Everything is then sorted into separate piles consisting of envelopes, packages and parcels. Parcels are packages that have specific requirements such as medicine and food. In case the mailroom closes before the parcles are picked up, students can still pick their parcels up in the parcel locker at any time of day.
With so many packages coming in, it's easy to wonder what kind of interesting packages they receive. According to Smith, "We once received coolers full of steaks." Wood added, "We've also received dolls, and pumpkins with students' names carved on the front for Halloween."
The beginning of the school year, Halloween and Valentine's Day are the busiest times for the mailroom staff. Wood described the beginning of the school year as "a hectic time due to students shipping their life to the College."
Mail services work often demands responsibilities that are outside of the mailroom itself. Students deliver packages to surrounding residential and academic buildings and pick up any mail that needs to be delivered. Inside the office, a special meter machine is used to take care of the campus's outgoing mail.
The campus mailroom is located in the Union and is open from 8 a.m. to 4:15 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Wood and Burley invited anyone with any questions or concerns to speak with them during those times.