The Marvin Center Governing Board’s plan to replace the ground floor Marvin Center post office with a more useful service is appropriate, considering officials call it “drastically underused,” with students renting only 18 of 497 mailboxes this year. What should replace the post office, however, should be a decision involving many students, not just the few students of the MCGB.
It is convenient to have a post office in the Marvin Center, but students can use mailing facilities at the Watergate and at 2000 Penn to handle their postal needs. Students only really need access to postage and a mailbox in the Marvin Center. MCGB officials promise to sell stamps at other stations on the ground floor and install a mailbox where the post office is currently located.
The post office location on the ground floor is precious property. Students should have a say in what will occupy the space and in creating a service they will actually use.
So far, the plan of scrapping the post office has leaked out slowly. The MCGB did not notify students about plans to replace the post office with a convenience- or beauty supply store. The board has the opportunity to improve the Marvin Center and make it more useful for all students, but students are currently excluded from the decision- making process.
As some Student Association members have said, the MCGB should ask students what they think is most needed in the Marvin Center. Not that the MCGB’s ideas are bad, but nothing should be ruled out before talking to students. Maybe what students want most is a bar like in American University’s student center or another new eating venue. Adding a store without student feedback could result in just another “drastically underused” service.