By Maggie Johnson
Although the landscape changes may be more noticeable, the way that students receive their mail is also changing.
Previously, students received paper slips in their mailboxes to notify them of package arrivals. This semester, the University’s postal service has implemented a new policy that notifies students via e-mail when a package has arrived for them.
The change is due in part to the installation of a new technology system used by the post office to sort and distribute mail.
“The old system was old technology and kept breaking down,” says Carolyn Thompson, the Mail Services Supervisor. “With the vendor all the way in California, repairs were extremely hard and took too long. Now, repairs aren’t as difficult and communication is quicker with the students.”
Thompson said, however, that the new system does leave room for improvement. The post office workers have to learn a whole new process of getting mail distributed.
“As with any new system, we still have some bugs to work out, but I think it will benefit everyone in the long run,” said Thompson.
So far, the new system has gotten mixed reviews from students, with the most criticism centering on the inconvenience of having to rely on e-mail to know when a package has arrived.
“Now that I live in North Village every trip back and forth between my apartment and main campus is somewhat of an arduous task,” said junior Melissa Stewart. “Thus, it makes it inconvenient for someone who doesn’t have easy access to their e-mail while they’re walking around campus to be able to check to see if your package has arrived without making an unnecessary trip back to your apartment/library computer to check e-mail.”
Along with the criticism, students offered positive feedback as well. For junior Taylor Outen, the new system is a welcome change. “For me, an obsessive-compulsive mailbox checker, I now have a system I can trust to alert me when I receive a package. It’s worked well for me so far, and I’ve cut down on trips to my mailbox because of the new system,” said Outen.
So whether students feel positively or negatively about the new mail policy, it’s obvious that it still has a ways to go before it establishes itself as a stable aspect of the Furman postal service. Until then, students expecting packages may just have to make a habit out of consistently checking their e-mails.