The Daily Gamecock

Electronic notifications alert students of packages

E-mail updates replace yellow slips to improve mailroom communication

A new mailroom system in the University of South Carolina Post Office has caused a stir on campus. On Feb. 11, the old system of placing yellow package notification slips in students’ mailboxes was replaced with an e-mail update.

Barry Meyers, the director of the USC Postal Services, is excited about the new method of package distribution. He said that, in January, 10,050 packages were delivered to resident students via the mail center. With the old system of paper notification slips, much of mailroom employees’ time and energy was spent printing, labeling and delivering the yellow slips.

The e-mail system allows the mailroom to process the packages through an internal tracking system and digitally assign them a shelf location based on the student’s name and the shipping carrier type. The e-mail is then sent, and students can receive their packages by scanning their CarolinaCards at the package pick-up desk.

Meyers noted that it is important for students to check their “junk” e-mail if they are expecting a package notification, and add the address to a “safe sender” list.

“We are excited to be able to help streamline the delivery process and to also make it easier for students to know that they have a package awaiting pick-up,” Meyers said.
General concern for lack of communication between students and the post office staff had been expressed before, and the new procedures seemed to be promising. However, the transition hasn’t been perfect, and some students have still experienced agitation as well as wishes that USC had sent an email to notify them of the change in procedure.

“I didn’t know that I had two packages for three-plus days because of the new system, and I was getting angry because I had been waiting on them for a while,” said Allie Stewart, a second-year nursing student.. “I had no idea I wasn’t going to be getting the little yellow slips anymore until I went and complained. It was very frustrating, and I am unhappy with the system.”

Recently, signs expressing that students could use their CarolinaCards to check on delivery statuses were posted throughout the mailroom, helping to alleviate some confusion. Nevertheless, some students still found themselves waiting in line only to be informed that their anticipated mail (often with delivery confirmation from the sender) had yet to be placed in the Student Mail Center.

“Whether [notification is by] an e-mail or a slip of paper, I still did not receive the package that a friend sent overnight for my birthday until a month after it should have been delivered.” said Campbell Shuford, a first-year international studies student,. “Although I repeatedly asked about it, they said that they didn’t have it. Finally, I found someone willing to look for it.”

While some students on campus are still upset despite the system changes, others approve of the green initiative to save paper and find the e-mail a much more resourceful method of alerting students.

“The suggestions [from students] were duly noted and appreciated,” Meyers said. “The new system will take these suggestions and place them into our daily delivery process.”


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