Increase in freshman population floods mailroom

Sophomore Batya Conn returned in August to her job in the college’s mailroom to hundreds of packages.

Conn said the mailroom has to accommodate for 800 more students’ packages with the opening of Little Building and the addition of juniors living on campus. Conn said workers temporarily stored packages in  Little Building before this year’s move-in due to the small size of the current mailroom.

“We still cannot manage the amount of students that are coming in at once to pick up their packages as well as the 600 packages that we get per day from UPS. It’s insane,” Conn said in an interview with The Beacon.

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William Corrigan, president of Collegiate Press, the company that manages the mailroom and the Print-Copy Center at the college, said the increase in students living on campus and online orders primarily affected the mailroom at the beginning of the semester.

“Each resident student is also getting more packages because of the way retail commerce has changed,” Corrigan said. “More people are having their stuff shipped, and being an urban campus, even more people are having things shipped.”

Conn said that, despite the increase in students using the mailroom, the number of packages the mailroom is receiving decreased since the start of the semester.

“It’s starting to slow down now because students have all their books, [they] have all their dorm decorations [they] have all the refrigerators, and everything has come in,” Conn said. “But for me, up until now it’s been a constant line of people. It’s crazy, you know—it just never ends.”

Conn began working in the mailroom her first week of freshman year and said the larger amounts of  deliveries to students caused an overflow of packages during the early months of the fall semester. 

“We’re still in the same small little basement in Colonial,” Conn said. “We simply don’t have enough room for all the packages that come in.” 

Collegiate Press also services universities in the Boston area including Northeastern University, Boston College, and Emmanuel College. The company manages employees who work at these services, including students. 

Director of Business Services Karen Dickinson said the college is in the early processes of looking at how it can increase communication between Collegiate Press and students who receive packages.

“There are a couple of peak days where it takes longer to scan a package into the system, and that’s probably something that we’re going to target with better ways to do that and clarify communication [with the community],” Corrigan said.

Conn said Collegiate Press hired five new employees at Emerson to combat this issue and extended working hours for mailroom workers.

“We have had to hire more workers, people are constantly logging in packages, and so the Collegiate Press workers are working overtime,” Conn said. “Usually, the day for [Collegiate Press workers] starts around 7 [a.m.] and they leave at 6 [p.m.]. But now they’ve had to stay here from 7 a.m. to about 9 or 10 p.m. logging packages.”

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