You’ve got mail

Campus postal workers implore students to check their PO boxes

As the year kicks off and classes reach full swing, students should not forget about checking their campus mailboxes.

Every day, a student may receive a letter from a loved one, a graded paper or exam, or even coupons from local restaurants and businesses in the Fargo-Moorhead area. Freshman Daniele Haekenkamp checks her mail only about once a week, but enjoys the occasional coupon.

A neglected PO box, stuffed with mail. Photo by Alyssa Armstrong.
A neglected PO box, stuffed with mail.
Photo by Alyssa Armstrong.

“I like that we get coupons, but some people might not like them and they might just throw them away. Something I think would be cool is if on a day when we all get coupons there would be a box for people who don’t want those and then somebody else who likes coupons, like me, could … take them,” said Haekenkamp.

Haekenkamp said that when she first arrived on campus, she did not check her mailbox right away. It was not until her mom told Haekenkamp to check her mailbox that she did so, finding mail from her mother. Now, Haekenkamp said she tries to check her mail at least once a week.

“I love getting mail, especially because my mom … sends me stuff a lot,” Haekenkamp said.

Coupons and other campus mailings account for much of the mail that is being left in mailboxes, according to Paulette Dixon, manager of the post office.

Hoping to reduce the number of neglected student mailboxes, Dixon suggests students visit the campus post office as often as they can.

“I strongly encourage students to check their mailboxes once a week if possible, even if they’re not expecting something,” Dixon said.

According to Dixon, students check their mailboxes less if they are not expecting anything. She said students who are freshmen, some of whom may not know they even have a campus mailbox, and students who live off campus — especially busy seniors, check their mail the least.

“If [students] order something and they know it’s coming … they pick up their mail. If it is a surprise… or a mailing from within campus, they don’t pay attention [and don’t come] to the post office to check their mailbox,” Dixon said.

Dixon’s job becomes more difficult when students do not check their mail, especially when packages have arrived for them and do not get picked up.

“I go through the items back here and anything that has been here over a week and a half, two weeks especially, I email [the students] to tell them that [they] have an item here,” Dixon said.

An inside look at the campus post office. Photo by Maddie Malat.
An inside look at the campus post office.
Photo by Maddie Malat.

But some students still do not check their mailboxes, despite the emails, so the post office has to resort to other means, Dixon said.

“I try to do as much as possible: put a notice in their box, email them, call them, and, if all else fails, mail it home — but it doesn’t get to that point very often,” Dixon said.

Dixon has also posted notices in the C-News and put up posters as reminders for students to check their mailboxes, but some boxes still remain full.

“Sometimes [students’] boxes fill up with coupon books, [or] with restaurant coupons,” Dixon said.

However, not all students have trouble checking their mail regularly. Hannah Kulus, a junior who lives off campus, enjoys the thrill of checking her campus mailbox and receiving mail.

“I love getting mail,” Kulus said. “It’s really exciting to have something in your mailbox, even if it’s just campus coupons. I check my campus mailbox probably every three days … [but] I know that if I have a really busy week, I won’t check it as much.”

Kulus mentioned that she checks her campus mailbox less often now that she lives off campus compared to when she lived on campus, unless she knows she has something coming.

“My grandma sends me letters every single week, and she is so good about that,” Kulus said. “My favorite thing [is] knowing that every week I will have a letter without fail from her.”

Whether it is letters from parents and grandparents or just campus coupons that fill up campus mailboxes, it is still important to visit the campus post office.

“I just want [students] to remember that the campus post office is here and is here to help you,” Dixon said. “And at least once a week, check your mailboxes.”

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