The postman may always ring twice, but many Quadrangle residents are wondering if their doorbells are broken. Several Quad residents said that their mail has been delayed by as much as one month. Some added that they still have not received letters and packages sent many days ago. For College sophomore Robyn Glassman, who said she has still not received a letter sent to her on the first day of classes, the daily journey to her empty mailbox is downright frustrating. "People have packages that have slips dated a month ago," she said yesterday. "We're paying a lot of money to Residential Living and we're not even getting our mail." She said South Campus posters requesting volunteers to help sort mail in the understaffed office add to her vexation. "I don't have the extra time to offer," she added. "But I still need my mail." The delays stem from changes in responsibility for mail distribution, according to South Campus Residences Director Tomas Leal. The new system requires students from each section of the Quad to sort that section's mail. But students blasted the system, saying it is "ludicrous" that they are not receiving their letters and packages on time. Leal said yesterday that officials started distributing mail differently this fall in order to attract more work-study students to the South Campus staff, which would ease financial burdens on the office. He said the office has implemented a "shared responsibility" procedure, designed as a joint effort between mailroom workers -- who sort incoming mail according to house -- and house residents who distribute mail and package slips into the individual mailboxes. He added that several dormitories across campus employ this system, and that officials hope work-study students will be more willing to sort mail for their house than for the Quad as a whole. The new system is designed to bring in more work-study students, whom South Campus had trouble recruiting last year, Leal said. Departments pay only 10 percent of work-study students' wages, but must foot the bill for non-work-study students' entire paycheck. South Campus was forced to lay off about five non-work-study students towards the end of last year to avoid a deficit, the director said. Under the new system, the individual houses are responsible for sending and paying their work-study students to sort their house's mail. Leal said the mailroom has had to resort to soliciting volunteers because some houses have not been able to find work-study students to sort for the unit. Although Leal said he has heard complaints about the system, he added that he believes there will not be many glitches once it is fully in place. The director also said the mail is now up to date, except for those letters which lack box numbers or other information. In addition, officials will evaluate the system later in the year, he said. The South Campus mailroom is responsible for four first-year houses -- Community House, Spruce Street, Upper Quad and Butcher-Speakman-Class of 1928 -- and two college houses -- Stouffer and Ware. But some work-study students who work in their house's office, objected to the change in the mail system, saying that they had not expected to be sorting mail when they accepted their office positions. College freshman Michael Monson, a Community House work-study student who sorts mail, said the new procedure forces his office to give up one of its workers for a service that should be provided by the University. Community House each weekday sends one office worker between 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. to sort the mail for its 400 residents. "I think it's absolutely ludicrous," he said. "What is our tuition going for? . . . I feel like were being abused by whoever is in charge of mail." "It's blackmail as well," he added. "If you don't come sort your mail, you're just not going to get it." And at least Ware and Spruce Street houses do not have work-study students to sort the mail. "Until we have student workers we're really in a bind," Brenda Ridley, Spruce Street assistant dean for residence, said this week. But Butcher-Speakman Assistant Dean for Residence Jane Rogers said the system has had some problems, but is generally working for her house's 390 residents. She added that she expects it to work well once it gets going and that paying for the work-study position is not a financial burden. Some students said they believe the mail system is improving, but said they are still frustrated because they believe they are not receiving their mail on time. One College junior who asked not to be identified, said this week that a letter sent to him by priority mail arrived a week late. He added that he worries that other letters will be delayed similarly. "I have this pet peeve," he said. "I like to vote, and I'm expecting my absentee ballot. Given my experience so far, I really doubt that I'll get it."Comments powered by Disqus
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