Many things have changed in the last few years at Lewis & Clark, including the mailroom. The mailroom has undergone significant changes including a major location change, a loss of the Templeton Student Center mailboxes and an overall increase in the number and volume of parcels received daily. I have been working at the mailroom since January 2020, and I have seen firsthand the changes I outline here.
Here is what you need to know about the mailroom to make things happen more efficiently. Now more than ever, it has been more challenging to obtain mail at LC. Because of this, knowing how to make the lives of mailroom workers easier will make things move more smoothly.
These are the bread and butter of mailroom operations — how many parcels we receive in a given day determines what other activities mailroom workers can do that day or even the one after that. On the busiest days of the year, we can receive about 1,000 parcels (boxes, bags and large envelopes).
Meadow Zelenitz ’24, who has worked in the mailroom since it was at the Templeton location, told me that recipients should put their full name and MSC on parcels to make checking them in easier. Julia Neumeier ’23, another mailroom worker, asks that students be patient with the mailroom staff, since ordering a lot of parcels puts more work on them. Also, when picking up parcels, wait for the mailroom’s email rather than relying on the sender or courier.
The mailroom receives more letters and second-class mail (mostly magazines) than one might think. Letter sorting has changed quite a bit from when the mailroom was in the previous location, as there are no longer any individual mailboxes to sort the letters into. Sorting letters into a large filing cabinet is more complicated and takes longer than sorting into individual mailboxes.
Zelenitz notes that sorting letters is not a priority, especially with the high volume of parcels coming in. She also wants to remind students that “if you don’t know your MSC, ask us.” MSC numbers are also available to anyone with login information on the LC website’s directory.
Neumeier told me magazines in particular need MSC numbers on, since if it is not a subscription and not labeled, then chances are it will be shredded due to lack of space. She also asked that students be mindful of how letters and magazines do not show up in the system used at the mail room to find parcels, so be mindful of when you are receiving paper mail.
With the election behind us, one thing the mailroom deals with is graduated students forgetting to change their address with the Multnomah County Elections Division or deregister to vote. Reducing the number of graduated student ballots the mailroom needs to deal with is generally preferable.
Sending out mail
This process of sending out letters and parcels is the most unchanged of the mailroom’s operations. Dropping off prepaid packages and stamped mail can be done either at the window or in the “stamped mail” slot outside. Prices for stamps and metering have gone up, which are decided by the United States Postal Service, not the mailroom. If you can, please print out labels before coming to the mailroom.