In the past, Columbia’s package center has been described as “a corridor where time curves back on itself” and as something which “exceeds the Kafkaesque.” While in jest, this hyperbole has occasionally had a point: The package center has had its problems. Lines could stagnate into interminable waiting sessions, the kiosks downstairs often malfunctioned, and processing packages could take days.
Although these complaints pertained mainly to the first month of the school year—and about minor inconveniences—the problems did affect student life. The response to them, however, has been attentive.
After seriously listening to these grievances, Mail Services has implemented changes that have made grabbing our packages even easier this year. Coming into this semester, the lines move more quickly than ever. The kiosks are often a quick and nifty way to get packages. Satellite centers have reduced the burden on the main center in Lerner Hall. Unseen, an overnight shift and 20 temporary employees have expedited processing. For the past two weekends, the package center has remained open on Saturdays and Sundays to accommodate the influx at the beginning of the year. No more are the days of students trudging out of the package center. Now, students walk out eagerly gripping their packages—with the more anxious stripping the packages of their raiment then and there.
There is a tendency in editorials to complain, particularly to highlight the trivial and fixate on minor problems until they appear to dwarf everything else. Everything else remains unmentioned—because it is a non-issue, because it is running well.
So we would like to praise these steps that have ensured easier access to our packages. We would like to praise the careful handling and attention given to our packages. From the employees who remember our names to the bowl of candy left out as a courtesy—Thank you. Thank you for taking our querulous quibbles in stride and making noteworthy changes to address them.
Going forward, there is no doubt that the number of packages will continue to increase and that more changes will be necessary. In the works is a project that Scott Wright has told Spectator will eliminate satellite centers and amalgamate all transactions into one large Package Hub. We approve of this consolidation, as it will likely make sending and receiving packages faster and simpler. So long as the dialogue between students and Mail Services continues, we trust that any package-related difficulties will be addressed with care. In the meantime, we will continue to appreciate those who handle our packages and hope you will too.
To respond to this column, or to submit an op-ed, contact email@example.com.