The University of Richmond post office will undergo renovations this fall to include temporary lockers for package and letter pick-up, replacing the old P.O. boxes.
The first two weeks of any semester are busy ones in the mailroom, said Timothy Dorsey, the assistant post office director. Amazon and other same-day delivery services have made processing packages a much more complex task.
“Packages have taken over everything,” Dorsey said. “The space we are currently in, we’re running out of it.”
The renovation will take out the single P.O. boxes and replace them with lockers. Students will temporarily be assigned a locker when they receive a package or letter. After the student picks up the mail, the locker will then be reassigned to another student who has mail waiting for them, Dorsey said.
Since Mail Services began its renovation plans, the section of the post office with the old P.O. boxes was cordoned off. Letters now undergo the same processing as packages, including notification emails that regular mail or a package is ready to be picked up.
“What we have noticed is that students don’t like to check their mailboxes,” Dorsey said. “Now, students have no choice but to pick up letters because we will send them back just like boxes left too long.”
This process has been confusing for students who are used to picking up their P.O. box mail key at the beginning of the semester, said senior Christopher Wilson, who works at the post office.
“This is so that students get into the habit of checking letter mail," Wilson said. "I have seen over the years many students’ mailboxes overflowing with letters from family and bills they needed to pay.”
In addition to near-constant Amazon orders, post office employees now have to deal with processing letters sent to students.
“Processing letters definitely gets us a little more behind,” said Luci Musmanni, a sophomore post office employee.
During the renovations, the layout of the post office will change, Dorsey said. Students will enter through the current exit door. Post office employees will be operating in a much smaller space during the renovations.
“Be patient with us because it is a process that is going to be new for everybody,” Dorsey said.
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Students should continue to include their P.O. box number in their UR shipping addresses, Dorsey said. Although the boxes are not in use, the number helps employees identify students who might have similar names.
“The renovation most likely will make the job easier, though if students could be kind and gracious, I think that would go a lot further,” Wilson said. “Many students don’t understand the hard work and effort all of us put in behind the counter.”
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