Students call for ‘more organized’ mail system after delivery delays, lost letters

Media Credit: Sophia Young | Photographer

Officials said some mailboxes were mislabeled earlier in the year, causing some pieces of mail to be lost or misplaced.

The University needs a “more organized” mailing service to cut down on weeks-late package deliveries and lost mail, students said.

More than a dozen students said documents like medical bills and scholarship checks have been lost or arrived in their mailbox several days after the postmark date. University spokeswoman Crystal Nosal said GW Mail and Packaging Services typically does not receive many complaints, but several mailboxes were labeled incorrectly earlier this semester.

“After an audit and corrections by Key Depot, the issue was resolved,” Nosal said in an email.

She said mail and package services employees shelve daily express mail immediately, and the “vast majority” of packages shipped are processed and made available the same day. Nosal said students sometimes receive an email from an outside mailing service that their package has arrived, but students cannot pick up their item until package services has processed the package.

“While MPS has not been informed of students receiving mail for students who lived in their rooms previously we encourage students to email so this can be corrected,” she said.

Nosal said package services employees recommend that students send valuable packages containing items like gift cards or money with a tracking number to ensure their item is not lost.

“For the majority of mail, the received stamp date and the mail delivery date are no more than 24 hours apart,” she said. “If not, it is likely the addressee information was incomplete and required additional research and/or the person was not listed in the University data system.”

Freshman Laya Reddy, a Somers Hall resident, said the scholarship check her parents mailed her in mid-October didn’t arrive for three weeks, giving her only five days to submit the check to add the money to her tuition bill.

“It’s obviously a lot of money and I think some other people have scholarships that are even larger than that, which I think they would not have been able to attend this school without that type of money,” she said.

Freshman Anna Weber, a Fulbright Hall resident, said she’s worried she won’t receive her absentee ballot for the presidential primary election next year because her packages have arrived late in the past. She said holiday cards and concert tickets have landed in her mailbox later than expected.

“I know for presidential primaries, a lot of us will be voting absentee, and I’ve been worried something is going to get messed up with my ballot coming in the mail and then my vote won’t get counted because it didn’t end up in my P.O. Box in time,” Weber said.

Sophomore Sally Kim said she received a blood test at the Colonial Health Center in early May but never received the bill in her Lafayette Hall mailbox. Kim said the bill was forwarded to her home address, and she didn’t receive it until after the payment’s July due date.

Kim said the University should implement a “more organized” mail system, and officials should consider installing the digital lockers available to students living on the Mount Vernon Campus and in Shenkman Hall in all residence halls on campus.

“I honestly just want mail on time,” she said. “I think we need a better system of getting mail.”

Freshman Bentley Adkins, who lives in Potomac House, said she received a letter earlier this semester in her mailbox 10 days after it was postmarked. She said she once had to wait three days before receiving an email that a package was ready for pickup.

“It’s frustrating because you know your packages are just sitting in the room and it’s just not scanned,” Adkins said.

Freshman Anna Bella D’Amico, a Fulbright resident, said she has experienced weeklong delays in receiving mail and packages since the beginning of the semester. D’Amico said she recently placed an online order to prepare for an upcoming trip and shipped the items to a local Amazon lockbox to speed up the delivery process.

D’Amico said her cousins sent her a postcard in late September that she received last week because package services delivered the postcard to the wrong residence hall room, even though her cousins correctly addressed the postcard.

“I would definitely say if you need mail sent or received in any type of rapid way, package services is not the way you would do it,” D’Amico said.

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