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Not just mailing it in

Susanna Huang '27

May 3, 2024

As students walk out of Ford Hall, a new apparatus awaits them on the patio near the back campus residential quad: the newly-installed installed Amazon lockers. 

The lockers will serve as a manner for students to pick up their packages regardless of  the time of day. “As a school, we receive 50-plus packages daily from Amazon and, during peak times, close to a hundred packages a day,” said John Chepren, Director of Information Technology. 

Formerly, students need to retrieve all their Amazon packages from the mailroom, causing major inconveniences. Taimur Rehman ’25 said, “There is usually a really long line…. [I]t does take a while, especially at the times after class and after lunch when it is really the only time to pick up.”

So the school took steps to improve the mailroom situation. “As a school, we looked at an option for package lockers for our mailroom. A lot of colleges and universities have these already, even on a much bigger scale. We found that Amazon offers it free of charge,” explained Chepren. 

Chepren went on to explain the directions for sending packages to the lockers: “When you place your Amazon order and pick the delivery location, don’t pick the school; there will be an option below that says [select pickup location.] ” 

Receiving packages is not the only function of the lockers. “You can return items to Amazon as well through this locker, which if you have ever tried, can be a real challenge; the locker makes it simple and painless,” said Chepren. 

In addition, if the Amazon lockers prove successful, “the number of lockers may increase in coming years to accommodate the demand, hence the larger concrete pad you currently see,” explained Chepren.

Many students have noted the ease of using the Amazon lockers. Annie Wu ‘27 said, “I think it is a good idea. The Amazon lockers can make it really easy. People can just get it anytime, so we don’t have to care about the mailroom hours.”

  “These lockers will not only make picking up packages more efficient, but they will also reduce the number of people waiting in line at the mailroom,” said Andrew Chang ’26. 

Longtime mailroom clerk Steve McCombie also expressed his appreciation. “It is going to take a load off of my load, which I am hoping is going to be great.” 

William Tutt ’25 pointed out, however, “I think it is a good idea that it is open 24/7, but I will miss the mailroom and the human physical aspect of it,” adding, “I am worried about some students who don’t pick up their stuff, so there will probably be some stuff just lying in the lockers."

A tip to smooth the transition and make it easier for everyone is that students should pick up their packages as soon as possible and avoid creating traffic for other people within the community.

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