Dickinsonians Have Mixed Feelings about Obsolete HUB Mailboxes

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Dickinsonians Have Mixed Feelings about Obsolete HUB Mailboxes

Shane Shuma ’22, Staff Writer

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Dickinson’s Mail Center notified students via email that the mailboxes in the lower level of the HUB will no longer be used. Letters and packages will be sorted through the central tracking system, meaning students will need to pick up all mail at the mail desk in the lower HUB.

The Mail Center also announced changes to its policy on mail from faculty, staff and student organizations, which will attempt to minimize paper waste due to excess mailed flyers, according to the Jan. 14 email. 

Mail Center staff said the changes, which have received mixed reception from students, were made to increase efficiency, promote sustainability and cut costs for the college in processing mail. 

The new system was in the making for some time, said Lisa Ellerman, Mail Center manager. “Handling mail this way is being used by numerous colleges and universities; we started working with our business partner [Brynka Software Solutions] in early 2018,” Ellerman said. 

Mail Center staff also spoke with Student Senate and Assistant Director of the Center for Sustainability Education Lindsey Lyons to figure out the new system. The Mail Center believes this decision will not affect wait times and that staff will be able to handle the new task as the mail process will be streamlined. The Mail Center will notify students by email when a letter is ready to be picked up.

The decision has left many students wondering what will happen to their old HUB boxes and their HUB number assignments. 

“I think it makes sense that they’re not using it anymore, because it creates extra work for the mail room. I also hope they do something with the mailboxes they don’t just get rid of them,” said,” Sam Halpern ’22. “Like maybe keep the doors and like put the doors on a wall somewhere like an art instillation or something. I feel like it’s very iconic and I don’t want them to get rid of them.”

“The mail boxes made it very convenient to pick up your letters whenever you wanted,” said Will Valli ’21.

Ellerman said the fate of the physical mailboxes “[has] yet to be determined… [S]tudents will not receive anything to the box, but students will retain the HUB number.”

Some students support the move. “You don’t have to take time to check your mailbox if there’s not going to be anything in there, you’ll know when you get mail,” said Nicole Nelkin ’22.

Natalie Ginez ’21 said “I kind of don’t mind it because I mostly get packages anyway.” 

Other students have mixed feelings about the new change. 

Lissy Gold ’20 said “I think perhaps we could have a separate line for mail to make things more efficient. Also, sometimes when the school sends out letters there’s going to be a large line.”

“The Mail Center hours are so odd and they’re honestly always kind of busy,” Valli said. “I’m definitely disappointed because I am someone who receives a lot of letters… It means I’ll be able to get them less frequently because I can only manage to get to the package pickup every so often.”

Austin Fuller ’20 echoed concerns of accessibility and complexity, arguing the changes “just add complications to getting mail and it was easier to just go to my box and get my mail instead of waiting at the package office.” 

As students continue to adjust to the new changes, the Mail Center will communicate with students when and if an alternative purpose for the space is found.