By Daria Purdy ’19
Assistant News Editor
Providence College students have expressed their discontentment with the long lines that have been forming at the package room this semester. Many students said that the delays are unusual and have wondered whether a different, more efficient system in the package room could stop the long lines from forming.
Erica Beatey ’19, a package room employee, describes the system that is currently used to process packages. The packages arrive in the morning from the trucks and get placed into bins. From there, the packages are scanned and the box number is matched to the name of the person on the package. Beatey describes that after around 30 packages, emails are sent out to those students who have received packages, and this process is repeated as the packages are processed.
For the last step of the process, Beatey said, “The packages that have been processed are then put on a cart, which is wheeled over to the shelves. We sort the boxes on the shelves according to the last number of the Friar Box. This process repeats throughout the day.”
Multiple students have described incidents with the lines at the package room that have lead to inconvenience and frustration. Janelle LaFlamme ’19 said, “I have had three packages shipped since the semester started, and each time it has taken me half an hour to get the package.” She goes on to say, “I have walked to the package room multiple times and turned around because I did not want to wait in line.”
The lines have been deterring some students from making online purchases. Taylor Mulhearn ’19 said, “I haven’t been buying things online because I don’t want to wait in line.” Brianna O’Shaughnessy ’19 felt a similar reluctance. She said, “I was going to get a textbook, but when I saw the line, I decided to get an e-book instead of waiting in line. I was willing to pay the extra $6.”
Students have also expressed discontentment with the hours that the package room is open. Julia Balukonis ’20 said, “I have almost no time to go in between classes and by the time I’m out of class for the day, the package room is already closed.” Olivia D’Elia ’19 said, “The hours are totally inconvenient, so I think there would be less clutter if they extended them or opened earlier.”
According to students, the long delays at the package room are something that have not been experienced in years past. Karen Thifault ’19 said, “I remember when it used to take me five minutes to get a package freshman year, and now it takes me 30 minutes or more to get a package.” D’Elia said, “Seeing the line as long as it is on the third week of school is very rare.”
Sarah Jones ’18, a member of Student Congress, feels especially frustrated with the issue. She describes how she has found long lines throughout the day, even at times when many students are in class. She said, “I had learned that there was no schedule for who works when and once I got to the front I saw there were only two people working with the long line. I feel there needs to be a better system where more people are working during the busy hours so people aren’t spending so much time waiting or being late to class.”
As to whether the volume of packages has increased, Beatey claims that they have. She said, “We’ve never seen this many packages before. Even though we expect a huge number at the beginning of each semester, due to people ordering their books and supplies, this semester is especially busy.”
Students will have to wait and see if the issue can be resolved throughout the course of the semester. For now, they should plan for the likely experience of a long wait while picking up their packages.
The director of the mailroom was not available for comment.