Package services quickens wait times, students still want better

Student Package Services has significantly improved its notoriously long wait times since last year, facility managers said.

Package Services upgraded its facilities before the start of the school year by expanding its counter space and hiring more staff members, to improve the package retrieval process, University officials said. In the last two months, officials said they have seen a marked improvement.

“Last year, students on average waited 45 minutes upwards to an hour or more. This year, 15 to 30 minutes is the norm, which was our target,” said Sean Wynn, manager of Mail and Package Services.

“In previous years, it may have taken us up to 72 hours to (process) all the items from a particular day because of the sheer volume, but this year we finish on the same day or within 24 hours, so that’s a remarkable improvement over what we’ve seen in years past,” he said.

Many students said they have noticed faster wait times compared to last year.

“It’s a lot better, definitely,” said sophomore Perry Flowers, who estimated he has averaged a 10-minute wait during his visits to Package Services this year. “Every time I’d come last year, there’d be lines out the door.”

Wynn said lines were persistent throughout the entire day last year, and there were much heavier back-ups than he has seen so far this year.

“They were long all day last year, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.,” Wynn said. “There was a line every day. Now, it’s markedly different, maybe five to eight deep in terms of the amount of people coming in, and they are out of the door within five to 15 minutes. Last year, it was 30 to 45 minutes.”

After classes let out each day and the beginning of the semester are typically the busiest times at the facility.

Freshman Morgan Kaplan waited less than two minutes to retrieve her package just after 5 p.m.

“It really varies,” Kaplan said. “It comes in waves; right when class gets out it can be bad.”

Despite the improvement, some students still have complaints.

“I was standing around for five minutes and my package was right there, and no one was picking it up,” freshman David Levy said. “I asked one lady three times to get it and she helped other people before me. They need a better design.”

Beginning this year, package notification e-mails request that students wait three hours after the e-mail has been sent before picking up their package. According to Michelle Petricono, deputy director of Auxiliary and Institutional Services, this has led to better performance.

“It has contributed to a reduction in lines,” Petricono said. “The three-hour wait gives mail services the opportunity to offload the packages, to process them in through the system and to make sure they have the pertinent information.”

Petricono added that displays will be installed by the entrance to the facility within the next two weeks to provide wait times “so (students) can determine whether or not they want to wait.”

-Brandon Butler and David Ceasar contributed to this report.

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