Post-Bruff mail services to take effect Monday

Amy Nankin, News Editor

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As a part of ongoing campus construction, students will begin picking up mail and packages from new yellow Amazon Lockers, green lockers housed in the Garden Level of the Lavin-Bernick Center for University Life and soon from a mailroom in Warren Residence Hall. The process was set to start on Monday but has been delayed until further notice. 

With the demolition of Bruff Commons set to begin in December, Tulane’s mail services office previously located in Bruff is preparing for big changes. What was once a multi-counter operation with student workers receiving, processing and placing packages of all sizes on shelves for students to pick up is now transforming into a multi-location operation. 

All mail will now be processed at 1301 Audubon St., sized and delivered accordingly. All small- and medium-sized packages will be delivered to approximately 500 lockers on the Garden level of the LBC. All oversized packages, perishables and overflow packages will be delivered to a mail facility in Warren Hall once the construction is finished in a few weeks. Until the construction is finished, larger packages will continue to be delivered to Bruff.

LBC Garden Level Lockers 

There are roughly 500 lockers for small- and medium-sized packages on the Garden Level of the LBC. When students receive a package, they will be given a code to open a specific locker — students will not be assigned their own respective lockers as before. Students will be able to access the lockers 24/7, and packages will be processed and delivered to the lockers multiple times a day. 

There are five different banks of lockers — four located across from student organization offices and one located on the opposite side. Students will receive an email once their package is processed. The message will notify them of the package’s location and the numerical or QR code corresponding to the specific locker. After the student inputs this code into the nearby kiosk, the respective locker will pop open. 

“Each bank is connected to a kiosk, and each one of those is recognized by a name and we decided to go with New Orleans food items so you have Locker Beignet, Locker Gumbo, Locker Po-boy and another set called Lagniappe,” Director of Mail Services J. Marlborough said. “As soon as the package goes in the locker and the door gets closed, the student gets notified.”

Since students are not permanently assigned to individual lockers, students’ packages may be delivered to a different locker bank each time they receive a package. If a student receives more than one package in a day, those packages may be placed in the same locker. 

“The important key on that though is that when students come to pick up that package they need to take all packages, they can’t leave one behind because the session expires,” Malborough said. “When something goes into a locker, the student will get an email with a code that will open the locker. But basically once that locker is opened and once you close it the session expires so you can’t use the same code again.” 

Letter mail may also be placed in the Garden Level lockers depending on the volume of small and medium packages. If there is a high volume, letters will be processed in Warren once construction has ended. If there is not, letters will be placed in the Lagniappe bank. 

“We can double up so we can possibly do your letter mail along with packages, but that section is extra small. We purposely bought those for mail, but we can use them for other things too.” Melinda Maley, operations supervisor for the health sciences campus for mail services, said. 

Currently, there is leniency in the amount of time the Bruff mail room will keep a package, but with less room to store packages in the locker banks, the grace period is shortening to only two days. Two days after alerting students of a package delivery, the package will be moved from the lockers to Bruff, until the Warren mail services location is finished when it will switch over to Warren. 

“We will have mail services staff that will be here all day, especially for the first couple of weeks we will try to always have someone here,” Malborough said. “We figured this was a great, convenient place because students are here all the time and we wanted to get it as close to the students as we could. We’re hoping for more convenience in all of this. Hopefully the lines will be shorter, too. The kiosk takes less than 10 seconds — you put your code in, and a locker pops open, and that’s it, so it’s very quick so hopefully that line will move much faster so students will find it easier.”

Sofia Viscuso | Photography Editor

Amazon

Amazon has installed two different Amazon Locker locations on campus: one in the Diboll Parking Garage and another under the Stern Hall breezeway. The Amazon Lockers are active, and students can choose to send mail to an Amazon Locker by putting in Tulane’s zip code and selecting a location on the Amazon Locker location map. The current mail address of 31 McAlister Dr. will remain the address for all other mail. 

“[Mail services] can’t do anything. We can’t get in. It’s not through mail services — it’s direct through Amazon,” Maley said. “We worked with Amazon to get those in, but it’s direct control from Amazon. One of the nice things about this is that those Amazon lockers are also available to students who live off campus.”

Currently, Tulane mail services does not process mail for students living off campus due to the high volume of mail students living on campus receive. Amazon Lockers, however, are available to all students regardless of residency. Amazon Lockers are available for students 24/7 and have a grace period of three days for students to pick up a package after receiving a delivery notification. If a student does not pick up their package in this time frame, the package will be returned to the Amazon headquarters and a refund will be given to the student. 

“With the convenience, I would expect that you guys aren’t going to let a package sit there for two days,” Maley said.

“You’re not bound by the mail service hours. These will be here all night long, you can come whenever, 24/7,” Marlborough said. 

Although the Amazon Lockers are an option for students, Amazon packages can still be sent to Tulane mail services.

“We have 154 Amazon Lockers so there potentially will be times that they are full and if you try to order from Amazon they might say ‘Hey it’s full right now, choose another address,’ and then you would just choose 31 McAlister [Dr.] and it will come to the lockers,” Malborough said.

Tulane mail services urges students to utilize the Amazon lockers due to the smaller number of lockers available through Tulane mail services. Students can also return Amazon products using Amazon lockers. 

Warren Hall

The second location of Tulane mail services will be in Warren Residence Hall. Construction is still underway but is expected to be finished within the next two weeks. While many of the students who are currently employed by Tulane mail services may see a shift in their role, employees at the Warren location will be in a very similar one. 

“We will still employ workers,” Marlborough said. “We’re going to have a presence for the oversized and overflow packages at Warren Hall, so students will still work at the counter there in a similar role … We’re going to have students work with us as we move packages to and fill the lockers because that’s probably going to be at least a two-man job as we bring stuff over. We’ll have a driver and they’ll go with them from Audubon to the LBC.”

Until the Warren location is finished, Bruff will still act as the primary location for perishable, oversized and overflow packages. 

“Some of it is still going to be in Bruff for the next couple of weeks until we get that space but we will be very proactive in letting students know where we are and what to do,” Malborough said. “One of the key things we tell students is once you get your email about a package look closely at the email because that will tell you where to go. We’re also trying to keep our website updated with information as things change. We’re going to post a video on our website a little tutorial showing people how it works as soon as we can for the future.”

Tulane mail services staff are hopeful that the change will help ease the mail delivery process and provide a more convenient option for students. 

“We already know [students] are going to be crazy happy that all of the stuff thats going on. They were very proactive early on we met with a student group early on asking them if this was easier and we were already doing research on package lockers to see if students wanted it and if we could implement it here and that’s how we came up with the space” Maley said.

“… I doubt it will take more than two weeks for you guys to catch on, it will be pretty easy and straightforward for you guys, if you’ve ever gone to a UPS or Amazon package system it’s very easy. I think it will be harder for you guys to find the lockers then to figure out how to use them. Whatever you all need we’re here for you guys.”