RPCC's service desk will undergo expansions to accommodate the merge.

Ben Parker /Sun Assistant Photography Editor

RPCC's service desk will undergo expansions to accommodate the merge.

March 6, 2019

Appel and RPCC to Merge Mail Services By 2021

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By 2021, the RPCC and Appel service centers will combine in order to streamline mail and package services for North Campus residences, according to Karen E. Brown, director of campus life marketing and communications.

Eventually, all of Appel’s mail and package services will move to to RPCC. However — tentatively set for fall 2019 — the first step in the merging of the two service centers is removing personal mailboxes from RPCC to make space for storing resident packages, Brown told The Sun in an email.

North Campus residents will still follow the current pickup system, in which students receive email notifications about delivered pieces of mail or packages. However, students will retrieve both their mail and their packages at the RPCC service desk instead of checking their own mailboxes.

“The biggest factor in the decision to update our mailroom operations is the enormous change to the way students use mail,” Brown told The Sun in an email. “We have seen that many students have stopped checking their mailboxes daily, as there has been a huge drop in paper mail.”

Soon, students will no longer pick up their mail in these mail boxes. Instead, they will receive notifications when they have mail.

Soon, students will no longer pick up their mail in these mail boxes. Instead, they will receive notifications when they have mail.

Without a constant influx of paper mail items such as letters, bills and advertisements, Brown and her team found mailboxes phasing out of necessity. On the other hand, she noticed that the quantity of packages being sent to students has spiked.

“The underutilized mailboxes are taking up space that we feel could better be used for handling packages and the rest of students’ incoming mail, with an aim toward increasing throughout in a more efficient mailroom operation,” Brown wrote.

Eventually, RPCC and Appel are on course to fully merge their mail services — all North Campus residents would pick up their mail and packages at an “expanded and improved” service desk in RPCC. The renovations are as yet unscheduled, but projected to take place in fall 2020 or fall 2021, according to Brown.

The planning process for the merge is currently being led by Brandi Smith-Berger, associate director for conference and event services. The process includes input from staff and students, according to Brown.

“We feel this will provide the best combination of flexibility, convenience, and efficiency for our students and the staff providing the mail service on campus,” Brown wrote, adding that the changes reflected similar structures at many other universities. “Unlike the current operation, they will know when there’s mail to be picked up, and won’t have to check a mailbox that’s empty most days anyway to see if there’s anything there.”