MC considers post office replacements

University officials said a food venue will most likely replace the Marvin Center Post Office when it closes its doors at the end of the spring semester. Officials said they will consider students’ ideas from an online survey and focus groups conducted throughout the semester.

“We hope to identify one or two high quality options by this spring,” Nancy Haaga, director for Auxiliary and Institutional Services, said.

Although officials are leaning toward an eating establishment, the space cannot accommodate a grill or heat exhaust system.

“One student suggested adding a McDonald’s. Not that it’s a bad idea, but the location simply doesn’t have the necessary space or ventilation because of the building’s structure,” Haaga said.

Auxiliary Services will place a survey on the GW Web site within the next three weeks so students can answer closed- and open-ended questions about what they would like to see replace the post office.

The department will also form two focus groups of four to five students later in the semester, Haaga said. The first group will be comprised of student leaders from the Marvin Center Governing Board, Residence Hall Association and Student Association. The other will consist of volunteers from the general student body.

“The Marvin Center is the students’ space. We want to hear from them,” Haaga said.

She told the MCGB that GW would replace the post office, which opened in fall 1999, in September. Officials said box rentals were no longer able to cover the venue’s cost.

Only 18 of the 500 boxes are currently being rented, Haaga said, while the highest number of boxes rented at once was 40 in 2000.

In the past few years, stamp transactions have accounted for 98 percent of the post office’s business, but stamps are sold at face value, so the University doesn’t make any profit from their sale.

“In this sense, (the) original intention of the post-office was not fulfilled,” Haaga said.

Stamps will probably be sold at Ticketmaster, and Student Package Services may sell envelopes and mail out packages, Haaga said. She also noted that she has received “little to no opposition” to closing the post office from the MCGB and other campus groups.

MCGB and students suggested several non-food venues for the space, including a CVS-style convenience store and a lounge where students can relax and get something to eat.

Some students supported the idea of adding a food venue to the space and will not miss the post office.

“The Marvin Center needs a salad bar, or something healthy like that,” freshman Alison Vella said.

“I have yet to use the post-office even once,” freshman Robert Thomson said.

But some students said they will miss the convenience of the Marvin Center location.

“I tend to mail a lot of stuff home,” senior Matt Allen said. “Even if the services are relocated, I’d still rather have a post office.”

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