To some Ohio University students, the new process of sorting mail by green instead of residence hall is confusing and frustrating.

This year, instead of walking downstairs to pick up mail, many students living in residence halls must walk to one of three central locations. Students have reported problems with long lines and delayed sorting.

“All the mailrooms are behind by two to three days at least,” Tori Bishop, a sophomore studying middle childhood education, said. “I have to wait 20-plus minutes for my mail.”

Patrick Crago, a sophomore studying accounting, said his package took six days upon delivery to be sorted.

“It’s honestly inconsiderate to the students,” Crago said. “Mail takes longer to get processed now, since it's getting sorted by a few people for an entire green.”

The new system was created to accommodate a request from the U.S. Postal Service, according to a university news release. The change will also increase safety by limiting access to residence halls, Executive Director of Housing and Residence Life Pete Trentacoste said in the release.

The front desks of residence halls found it difficult to store numerous packages at once, according to the release. Before the new system, mail was sorted in each residence hall by resident assistants. 

Now employees at each mailroom seem to struggle to quickly process packages. 

Within the first 10 days of operation, the Ohio University Mail Services team logged nearly 20,000 packages.

Mail Services hired 35 students at the start of the year. They hired 15 more students based on the volume of packages being received and their plans to increase hours of operation, Director of Business and Conference Services Jneanne Hacker said. 

“We are always looking at our services with the goal of continuous improvement,” Hacker said in email. “We have increased the number of staff working the service counter to provide quality and timely service.”

Mailrooms will be kept open until 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday for the remainder of the semester. Before, the mailrooms opened at noon and closed at 6 p.m. on those days. The mailrooms will be open from noon to 6 p.m. on Friday, noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday and closed on Sunday.

Emily Betley, a sophomore studying child and family studies, said she began working in the mailrooms in late August. She enjoys working there.

“We have a decent-sized staff,” Betley said. “It was just hard to judge how many people we truly were going to need since every green is centralized now and with the influx of textbooks. I feel like by the end of September it'll be a more smoothly running system.”

The mailrooms will offer additional services such as selling stamps and shipping supplies in fall 2018, Mail Services Manager Adam Bower said. 

Betley said students should take it easy on workers in the mailrooms.

“It’s not necessarily our fault your package isn't here yet,” Betley said. “Try and cope with us, because a ton of us are new. We’re working with the situation, too.”


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