Last year, students hoping to find misplaced packages often went to the postal center when their mail didn’t arrive in the Grewcock mailroom. But the postal center did not receive or process student packages, and was unable to help students find them.
“We were like a third party trying to run intervention,” said Deborah Holmes-Johnson, copy center & postal center manager.
During the summer, Holmes-Johnson and Director of Student Programs Ashlyn Neveau discussed improvements to student package processing, and considered installing student package lockers and setting up a parcel tracking system for students.
Upon Holmes-Johnson’s suggestion, they decided to move the mailroom to Moss Hall, as the postal center boasts a loading dock, space to store packages, scanning equipment, and a full-time staff.
“We felt that we could make the system more efficient by using the technology we have available in the Moss Hall postal center,” Holmes-Johnson said.
Student packages are now received at the Moss Hall loading dock and then scanned and sorted by postal center workers. Students are notified within 24 hours of their packages’ arrival, and must present identification to retrieve their packages.
By scanning packages upon receipt and release and requiring students to show identification for pick-up, postal center staff knows when packages arrive and are picked up, ensuring they are picked up by the correct recipient. This system enforces the college’s accountability and enables the postal center to work with the post office to locate packages lost in transit.
“It’s a more consistent way to receive packages. Before, with so many students working at the mailroom, there were too many hands in the process. This is a simplification,” said Neveau.
Despite the sharp increase in package volume at the beginning of the semester, postal center staff adjusted to their new responsibilities successfully. The Campus Mailroom has processed 4,000 packages in the past two weeks, so far with not one report of a misplaced parcel.
Sophomore Maya Kaniaupio has worked at the postal center since the winter of 2018 and said the new system has been easy to adjust to for both staff and students.
“Some students are curious about the change, but mostly they’re just happy to get their packages,” she said.
Holmes-Johnson said she is pleased that the postal center has improved the reliability of Hillsdale College’s Campus Mailroom.
“We’re hoping this will end the frustration of lost packages for students,” she said.