Problems with the mailroom have recently overwhelmed students who have received their mail late or not at all.
Multiple students have experienced problems receiving mail through Seton Hall’s on-campus post office and mailroom this fall.
Sophomore Meredith Pancella said she was supposed to receive a Halloween card from her grandmother this year, but still has not received the card, though her brother at Salisbury University in Maryland received his, which Panchella said was sent with hers.
Junior Kerry Bocchetto waited weeks for a package she said her parents sent at the beginning of the year containing textbooks she needed for classes.
Junior Shemeeka Greaves said it has sometimes taken a week from the time she should have received a package for her to get a package slip in her mailbox.
Senior and mailroom student worker Kelly Muhern said in an e-mail interview, with her answers revised by Mailroom Manager Peter Trunk, that mail theft is not unique to Seton Hall students and that the student mailroom staff works hard to process packages as swiftly as possible.
“The mailroom has identified mail from the South Orange Post Office which arrived tampered or have gone missing,” Mulhern said. “The university takes this matter very seriously, has alerted authorities and is working with the federal investigation office of the USPS.”
Students can experience delays receiving mail and packages in part because the mail must be sorted according to its destination within the university. Packages must have notification slips prepared and logged before they are placed in student mailboxes.
“To minimize delay, packages are processed the day they arrive and subject to volume, specifically the beginning of a semester or around a holiday where the packages are processed no later than the day after they arrive,” Mulhern said. “Next day, express, and two-day parcels are always processed first. A delay may occur in student notification if a package is incorrectly addressed, lacking a suite number, a name or is addressed to a nickname. The delivery process is interrupted as we attempt to reconcile the issue.”
Some students however, have experienced longer delays receiving packages.
“At the beginning of this year I was waiting for a package that my parents sent me containing textbooks that I needed for the semester,” Bocchetto said. “I realize that is a busy time of year for the mailroom but I waited weeks to finally receive my package, which ultimately meant I went that long without the books I needed.”
For other students, packages can contain other important items.
“One time my parents sent medicine and I didn’t get it for a week,” Greaves said. “The mail comes and then something happens, the notification doesn’t get in the P.O. Box.”
Greaves said she also had problems last year receiving cards from members of her family.
Junior Bobby Hough experienced problems with the mailroom his freshman year when they misplaced a letter from home and placed a package slip in someone else’s mail box.
“(The letter) was more sentimental than dire necessity, but it was still irritating to have to fight with them to get them to find my letter,” Hough said. “The second time, and last time thus far, I decided to order something online. It was a Christmas present for a friend. The school put the slip in the wrong mailbox. Since the kid never checked his mail my package was eventually shipped back to the company. It was inconvenient and annoying. “
Other students, like sophomore Rachel Rosenstrock, said they have not had any problems with the mailroom.
“(The workers in the mail room) have been very nice to me,” Rosenstrock said. “I haven’t had any serious problems. In fact the people working there have been very helpful. I get a newspaper every day and they now know me by name.”
Students who had problems with the mailroom have a variety of suggestions for improvement, including having a night shift to finish processing packages when the students aren’t able to finish them during the mail room’s normal hours, moving to an online package notification system, hiring more student workers and simply making sure that notifications are placed in the correct boxes.
While the mailroom currently relies upon paper package notifications, it is evaluating other means of shipping and receiving technology, Mulhern said.
“The university is always looking to identify areas for improvement,” Mulhern said. “Technology is one method of improvement and is being evaluated; however the student would still need to claim a package within the same area of their mailbox location.”