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Students see two sides of postal equation

Some students in the residence halls check their mail several times a day, others hardly ever. Yet knowing that a package is on the way usually brings students downstairs or causes them to take a detour when entering or leaving the building.

This year, a major change in the policy regarding package delivery has taken affect in the dorms.

“We put a package notice in their mailbox and that’s how they know to pick it up,” Jon Baldessari, associate director of the department of Residence Halls, said. “It’s obviously a much better situation for the student.”

Students find this new perk a significant improvement. In previous years, the parcel service would attempt to deliver packages two or three times. If a student was not at his or her dorm, the package would be returned to the sender or the student would have to pick it up at the delivery company’s regional facility.

“I like it a lot better how they sign for the [packages]this year,” Nick Stanzcyk, junior, said. “It’s a lot easier to pick up when you order stuff.”

Freshman Christina Padis finds the carriers are performing their job well.

“The UPS guy is awesome,” she said. “Everything is timely as long as you’re there to get the call. It’s generally pretty easy.”

But students such as sophomore Lauren Michael think that issues still exist.

“It could be delivered on time to the boxes,” she said. “It can be frustrating if you’re expecting a package or letter.”

According to Baldessari, delivery delays occur because all letters must be sorted by desk assistants (DA’s). Once sorted, all packages that the staff signed for must be processed before a student receives a yellow slip to pick up their package.

“[The processing time] really depends on the time of day and the volume,” Baldessari said. “When you’re talking about large residential areas, that’s a lot of mail you’re talking about.”

The means through which a student accesses his or her mail also differs depending on the residence hall. For instance, this year, as part of the renovations in Hecht, the mailboxes now feature turn dials instead of keys.

“I hate the turn dial,” Bart Baker, sophomore, said. “It’s the worst thing that happened to mail services. You can randomly open anyone’s mail. The keys were so much better.”

Another inconvenience that Emily Howell, freshman, points out is the limited time that one can claim a package, which is a hassle for her because of her late lab classes in the evening.

“I wish the security people would let us get our packages later,” Howell said.

Cases like this occur because the students who work security are not DA’s, Baldessari said, and only DA’s are allowed to give packages to students. Instead, packages may be picked up between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. at the front desk.

Complaints about the mail should be made though the administrative assistant in each residence hall.

Greg Linch can be contact at g.linch@umiami.edu.

October 11, 2005

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The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.