University plans to use post office space for other mailing purposes

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Photo Credit: Helen Fernandez | Daily Texan Staff

The impending closing of the on-campus branch of the U.S. Postal Service in February 2014 comes in part from the University’s desire to use the space the office occupies for other mailing-related purposes. 

“The University is planning on using the space our office currently operates out of for something else,” Postal Service spokesman Sam Bolen said. “Though we must vacate the current offices by the end of February, we are looking into staying in or around campus for the office’s relocation.” 

University Operations spokeswoman Cindy Posey said the offices were notified of the Postal Service’s desire to close the on-campus location, located in the West Mall Office Building, once their contract initially expired on Sept. 1.

“University Operations worked with USPS to extend their lease through February 2014 to give both parties time to work out the details of this closure,” Posey said. 

Gabrielle Ramirez, geology junior and frequent customer of the on-campus branch, said she was surprised the facility was facing closure, because historically she has always found it filled with customers. 

“I go to the campus post office religiously when I have to mail off scholarship or internship applications,” Ramirez said. “Since I live in Riverside I usually head over to the post office between classes. Every time I go there’s a long line of students checking their PO boxes and dropping off items to be mailed.” 

Though the Postal Service posted a $740 million quarterly loss in August, Bolen said the decision to relocate the office was not made for financial reasons. 

Bolen, said the retail office — which is maintained by two full-time desk clerks — is constantly busy but was unable to comment on specific shipping volumes the branch deals with. 

“The operating costs specific to the on-campus office is outweighed by its revenue, making the location fiscally stable,” Bolen said.

While the Postal Service will use the six-month lease extension to seek out relocation options, University officials said they look forward to using the time to flesh out an improved campus mailing service.  

“We want to use the time granted during the lease extension to analyze mailing needs throughout campus to provide the best possible service,” Posey said. “We’re excited about the opportunity for improvement.”