The campus post office will hold a meeting with UT officials next week to discuss the future of the campus location, which is set to have its contract with the University expire in February.
The U.S. Postal Service office’s contract with UT expired in September, but the two parties negotiated a short-term lease extended to the end of February, at which time the Postal Service must vacate the space unless a further agreement can be reached. According to Postal Service spokesman Sam Bolen, the University has expressed desires to use the space for other mail-related services.
Bolen said a meeting next week between the University and Postal Service officials could cause changes in the branch’s current plans. He said more information might be available after the meeting.
If the branch relocates in February, any outstanding P.O. boxes will be moved, Bolen said.
“The P.O. boxes would still be good because we would move them to another location,” Bolen said. “If [owners] didn’t like the move, then they could always be eligible for a prorated refund.”
UT representatives have met with postal officials since the establishment of the short-term lease, according to University Operations spokeswoman Cindy Posey. Multiple university representatives contacted by The Daily Texan stated they were not aware of a specific meeting next week.
Posey said meetings between the Postal Service and UT are nothing out of the ordinary.
“There’s still dialogue and meetings taking place between the [Postal Service] and UT regarding how they’re going to handle everything, but nothing is going to happen until February,” Posey said. “These meetings are a regular thing. There’s [sic] lots to talk about.”
University officials did not respond to the Daily Texan’s requests to be put into contact with administrators representing UT at these meetings.
Debbie Polanco, a clerk at the branch, said she was not told of the branch’s relocation and her job would likely transfer to the new location.
“This is the first time that I’ve heard of the post office’s contract expiring,” Polanco said. “The closure would not affect my job, I’ll just be transferred to the new location.”
John Christian, a former UT employee, said he has had a P.O. box at the branch for more than 40 years, but was not told that the location will move in February.
“I’m irritated with the way the University has handled this,” Christian said. “The University should be concerned about it and be able to handle the situation much better than they currently are.”
Christian said he was concerned about what would happen to the large number of people serviced by the post office.
“I know from my time at UT in administrative work that a lot of departments have their postal boxes there,” Christian said. “There are also a great deal of international students who rely on it because of its central location. They don’t want to have to go to the middle of Austin to handle something that’s been handled for 40 or 50 years on campus.”
—Additional reporting by Anthony Green