By Sebastian Moronta, SGA Correspondent
At this week’s SGA meeting, representatives from Campus Services Bill Mitchell and Jan Stahl delivered a presentation on the changes coming to the mail and packaging system, as well as updates to the Campus Store. To discuss these changes and the operations of the Campus Services committee within SGA, The Torch sat down with the committee’s chair, Kate Egan.
Kate is a physics and history double-major graduating in 2020. She joined SGA as soon as she arrived on campus as a first-year and has since served at least three weeks on every committee, garnering an intimate understanding of the governing body’s inner works. She joined because she wasn’t very involved in high school and wanted to make a change. Now, as part of the Campus Services committee, she has the opportunity.
“I love helping the students, having a voice that can actually make an impact.” That’s what she loves about Campus Services, particularly because as she describes, “Basically anything that the campus provides for you, it’ll come to me.” While the majority of CS work has to do with dining, she’s not wrong. Campus Services also tackle DPS issues, the Campus Store and the UMass Pass desk, shuttles, and plenty more.
Kate gets a lot of the work she does from a weekly segment of the SGA general meetings, the Constituency Roundtable, where anyone can express their concerns about anything on campus that the SGA can influence or address. Many of those comments fall under Kate’s jurisdiction, and she tries to respond with as much information as she can before turning those comments over to CS to be addressed.
As of late, a lot of work has been done to prepare the university for a change in the mail and packaging system. As it stands, packages are delivered to and picked up from the basement of CVPA, which Kate described as “in the middle of nowhere, [and] hard to find,” while mail is delivered to mailboxes at the various residential buildings around campus.
Soon the Campus Store will be remodeled, making space for an area to house lockers where mail and packages will be processed together, and students will be notified of any arrivals with a code which they can use to unlock a locker with their parcels inside.
These lockers will vary in size and shape to ensure most parcels will fit without issue, and these lockers are not assigned to individuals, but rather they are assigned just based on when availability. When students come get their mail, the locker is emptied and someone else’s mail goes in, with a new e-mail and a new code sent to the next recipient.
This new system doesn’t require an attendant to be present when you want to retrieve your mail, meaning the mail and packaging area can be open early morning until well into the night, expanding the stringent hours the mail system has thus far operated by.
The Campus Store will also no longer carry physical copies of books. Instead, books will be ordered online or at a kiosk within the store, to be shipped to the store for pickup. This will allow for that space to repurposed, as well as minimizing the cost of maintaining a physical inventory.
Kate and the rest of Campus Services hope this will radically improve students’ interaction with the store and mailing services, making it easier and more efficient to do what you need to do, on your own time. If you have any questions or comments on the new plan, dining services, or anything else CS related, I urge you to reach out to Kate at firstname.lastname@example.org, as she’s eager to help.