Mailroom stays afloat in monsoon of packages
For the Seton Hall University Mailroom, the fall semester began with a rush of 1413 packages, more than twice as many as last year’s Labor Day boom of 589 parcels, according to Peter Trunk Manager of Administrative Services.
With the increased demand for quick package processing and retrieval, and letters slipped into mailing boxes, the Mailroom, located in Mooney Hall room B13, has made changes to both its work environment and its staff to keep up with SHU students’ needs.
According to Trunk, the number of inbound packages fluctuates throughout the year but is at its highest at the beginning of each semester.
Although not opening its doors to the SHU community on Saturday, Sept. 12, the Mailroom staff worked from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
“This was done in order to reduce the quantity of Monday morning packages to a more manageable number,” said Trunk. “Our staff will most likely work one more Saturday this semester for the same reason.”
Giovana Villanueva, supervisor of customer service at the U.S. Postal Service in South Orange, located on 31 Vose Ave., explained the business relationship Seton Hall has with the Post Office.
The South Orange Post Office has packages ready for Seton Hall daily at 7 and 10 a.m. At the end of Mailroom hours, a Post Office employee receives outgoing mail from campus at 4 p.m.
South Orange postmaster Ellis Johnson has overseen the South Orange Post Office with Seton Hall since he entered his position seven months ago. The postmaster position shifts frequently when employees desire to obtain a higher position within the organization. Despite changing postmasters and several busy mailroom seasons, the South Orange U.S. Post Office maintains a strong relationship with Seton Hall University.
“We have good communication with Seton Hall, especially with the mailroom,” said Villanueva. “We try to work things out for you guys (students) and don’t come across any problems.”
In addition to receiving mail and parcels from the South Orange Post Office, the Mailroom accepts delivery service from the United Parcel Services (UPS), FedEx, and DHL.
Employees from departments, faculty and staff, the priest community, and students line up at the mailroom door from Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Off-campus SHU students living at the Talbott Apartments at the Rutgers Newark campus are required to pick up their packages
and mail at the University Mailroom located on the Seton Hall campus.
The Mailroom, anticipating a busy back-to-school season, upgraded its inbound package tracking system and shelving units in an attempt to effectively manage inbound packages. Two additional student employees have been added to the Mailroom staff.
Emily Lail, an english major in her senior year, has been working in the mailroom since the first day of her freshman year at Seton Hall.
“I have been working more hours this past week to keep up with the amount of packages. I come in when I can to help out,” said Lail. “We are lucky to have a larger staff, a new scanning system, and more shelves this year which has helped tremendously.”
Lail and colleague Geoffrey Thomulka, a finance and accounting major, said that working additional mailroom hours does not interfere with their academic studies. Lail and Thomulka are grateful for the skills they have acquired from working in the mailroom.
“It (the Mailroom) helps to develop project management skills in the sense that this job allows you to have hands in all steps of the postage process — from receiving the packages to delivering them to students,” Thomulka said.
Leah Carton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.