Mailroom digitizes package notifications and changes hours

Image by Kat Alperin

By Zachary Lerman /// Staff Writer

On April 4th it was announced that a new system for notifying students about their packages would be implemented. A whole scale upgrade would be taking place, forcing students to come to the mailroom for their packages at 2 p.m. onward instead of any time during the day. This came as a surprise for most Lewis & Clark students who didn’t think such a large change would come so late in the semester.

There have been mixed reactions from the student body. One reason for this mixed response has to do with the new hassle that will arise from integrating the package notification system into our emails.

“You’re already in the mailroom, so you can pick it up instead of having to remember when you’re checking your email,” Brynn Rova ’19 said.  Most students at LC are constantly bombarded by emails from institutions around campus (like professors, clubs, ASLC, The Bark, etc.). This email overload can be overwhelming and adding another important institution onto this list may not be the most loved idea. Another reason for the reluctance to embrace the new system may have due to do with the good feelings associated with being pleasantly surprised about getting a package when walking down to the mailroom. These pleasant trips will now be taken away from students, as they will be forced to look at a screen.

However, as Larkin O’Shea ’17 believes, there are reasons to think that the new system of package notification can be beneficial.

“This new email system saves a lot trees,” O’Shea said. “To have to put out those slips in each box and then they are simply thrown away is a huge waste of paper. The new system will not only save the environment, but also money and time. Workers in the mail room will be able to spend more time organizing and ensuring packages are not lost if they don’t have to put a yellow slip in each box. The new system also encourages student to check their email which is something many don’t do enough. This is not only valuable for college, but also future careers.”

Stephanie Takashima, site manager of the LC Mailroom, offered an explanation for why the mailroom is going through such a considerable change at this point in the semester. She estimates that the new emailing system will benefit everybody in “three main cost categories: cost, technology, and efficiency”.

She estimates that LC will be saving 2,200 dollars per year after taking out the costs of paper and labels. The mailroom staff will also be more efficient because this system will take away the rigorous process of printing a label, putting it on a card, categorizing the card into a reference and finally putting it into mailboxes. This process will be shortened, saving time and labor for students who work in the mailroom.

On the technology front, the mailroom is simply trying to keep up.

“Year to year from August of 2014 to August 2015 our package volume went up 22% (roughly 1900 packages per month),” Takashima said. This sudden increase has led to a large overhaul of the shelving and processing centers of the mailroom.

Even though this change may come as a surprise to LC students and doesn’t seem logical at this point in the semester, Takashima cites precedent for the change.

“This new system is being used at various college mailrooms around the country and all the kids love it,” Takashima said.

The mailroom staff hopes that the new system will be a benefit to all in the LC community.

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