Post office aims for efficiency with new operating hours


Since the Lehigh post office changed its hours back in August, Lehigh undergraduate and graduate students alike have been complaining.

On Aug. 4 the post office changed its hours to 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the week and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays, effectively decreasing the times it is open by 12 hours. This caused turmoil within some of the student body and has taken some adjustment, but Doug Snyder, the post office’s directing manager, explained the change in hours is nothing that isn’t manageable.

“We did realize that it would affect students, but in the big picture there wasn’t a whole lot of students coming after [5 p.m.],” he said.

Gabi Rosenbrien, ’14, a graduate student on campus, begs to differ and is frustrated by the shorter hours.

“I was all about the hours last year having it open until 7,” he said. “Now I’ve got a job Stabler arena…until 4 o’clock and I have to hustle over [to the post office]before [it]closes and this is part of my work day and often times I miss it now.”

Dallas Soukup, ’13, a graduate student in the technical entrepreneurship program echoed Rosenbrien.

“It’s frustrating because I work 20 hours a week and then have class,” he said. “I used to have stuff shipped to my box but now it’s just easier to ship it to my house.”

Frustrations like these from graduate students could cause the post office to lose business. Unlike undergraduate students who are each assigned their own mailbox, graduate students must pay for a space in the Lehigh post office. If it becomes inconvenient for a graduate student to pick up his or her mail at the Lehigh mail center, he or she could decide not to use its services.

Snyder said he is taking these concerns into consideration and has a few solutions to students’ timing issues.

“The biggest issue has been with the co-op students or internships… and they can contact me if they want to get in early,” he said. “I am always here before 8.”

Snyder also said that students can have their friend pick up a package for them. To do so, they simply need to give their Lehigh ID to the friend and contact the the post office staff to let them know who will be picking up the mail.

Though students may seem frustrated about the shorter hours, Snyder said it made the most financial sense to close the post office at 5 p.m. during the week rather than stay open later.

“Looking at the times and the volume of traffic that comes through here after 5, we weren’t really all that busy,” he said. “It didn’t make sense.” He added that the money that had to be spent in order to stay open past that time outweighed the money that was being generated.

Snyder said the time between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. has now become a slightly bigger rush of students trying to pick up their mail before closing time. He emphasized, though, that this is a small price to pay in order for Lehigh’s post office to run as efficiently and effectively as possible.

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