First Amazon pickup location in Texas to open at UT this summer

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Photo Credit: Chelsea Purgahn | Daily Texan Staff

Amazon announced Wednesday that Amazon@UTAustin, the first Amazon pickup location in Texas, will open on campus this summer.

Students, faculty, and staff will be able to pick up and return packages at the staffed 2,509 square foot space, which will be located in Gregory Gymnasium. 

A portion of the proceeds from purchases made at UT’s customized URL will go back to the school, said Deborah Bass, who works in public relations at Amazon.com.
Additionally, over two million products are eligible for free one-day pickup from this location when ordered by 10 p.m. the day before by Amazon Student and Prime members. 

“This collaboration with UT-Austin will help make getting everything students need for life on campus more affordable and convenient,” Bass said.

Jennifer Speer, associate director at the Division of Recreational Sports, said the center will be an especially valuable resource for students living off-campus, since it offers more versatile pickup hours than most apartment and condo offices and will have more security.

Gregory Gym was selected as the pickup spot because of its central location on campus, Speer said. Renovations will begin immediately, but they shouldn’t interfere with regular activities at the gym.

The location may also benefit students seeking employment, as Amazon hopes to hire students to staff the space. Currently, processing packages for students living on campus is one of the many responsibilities of resident assistants and desk assistants working in the resident halls. Aaron Voyles, assistant director of Resident Life at Jester, said their procedures for handling packages will remain unchanged, but the volume of packages they receive may be affected by the new pickup location.

“We’ve seen the amount of packages go up in recent years, in a large part due to Amazon,” Voyles said. “If this provides an alleviation of that and more options for students, we’re certainly supportive of it.”

This program has already been implemented at five other universities. Speer said Amazon approached UT to explore this venture because of the large campus population, its location in a major city and its reputation as the flagship university of the state.

“Gregory is a place that [students] come to anyway, so it’s just another convenient service that’s offered here,” Speer said. “I think everyone’s just really excited about this partnership. We’ve seen the success at other universities, and we think that UT’s going to be just as successful.”