Marvin Center officials will replace the ground floor post office next semester, possibly with a convenience store or beauty supply store, Marvin Center Governing Board members said last week.
Officials began discussing replacing the facility with an option more attractive to students last spring, Director of Auxiliary Services Nancy Haaga said.
Haaga called the post office “drastically under-used,” noting that students rented only 18 of 497 post office boxes this year. She said 98 percent of students use the post office only to purchase stamps.
“The area is not producing what it should . it’s not being completely utilized,” said Michael Brown, associate director of operations for the Marvin Center.
The student-run MCGB suggested a convenience store because of lack of space and selection in the two Provisions markets, MCGB Chair Zack Beyer said.
“Provisions is tight on shelf and storage space,” said Beyer, a senior. “A Provisions health and beauty store . would free up a lot of space and Provisions would be able to have more products and a better selection.”
Students would be able to use points and debit dollars at the new store, Beyer said.
When the post office closes, the GW Bookstore and the Pulse will definitely start selling stamps, Beyer said. A mailbox will also be added near the current post office’s location, he said
Junior Analia Duram, originally from France, said she uses the post office quite frequently and does not want to see it go.
“”It is really important to foreign students because we always send letters abroad,” Duram said. “We are always around (the Marvin Center) so it is really useful.”
Sophomore Nina Jayakrishnan agreed.
“”I can’t think of anything better to replace it. That is why I want it to stay,” she said
“It would be inconvenient (if it was closed),” said Dawn de Villansana, who works at Gelman Library Information Services and uses the post office to mail letters to clients and off-campus students. “I would have to use (Mailboxes, Etc.) in 2000 Penn, and it’s a farther walk.”
Other students said they do not use the post office and think the space can be better used.
“It’s convenient, but not necessary,” freshman Clayton Weiss said.
“Anything is better than the post office, I never used it,” sophomore Amine Fahmy said.
Student Association members said more students should be consulted concerning the future of the post office location.
“I think this allows for a great opportunity to put something in place that will benefit students,” said junior Dani Greenspan, acting vice president for undergraduate policy. “GW just needs to ensure that what goes in will be responsive to students’ needs.”
When the Marvin Center facility closes, the closest post offices to the Foggy Bottom campus will be the Watergate post office at 2512 Virginia Ave. and another office at 1750 Pennsylvania Ave. Students can also send mail and packages out of Mailboxes, Etc. in the 2000 Penn shopping center.
“Students will still be within walking distance to one if need be,” Beyer said.
Officials and MCGB members are currently reviewing suggestions and a date for the closing, but they said nothing will happen before the end of the semester.
-Mosheh Oinounou and Beth Brown contributed to this report.