The Argus reported last week that Wes Station’s staff has downsized and that hours have been cut due to a budget shortfall, but according to Ben Firke ’12 of the WSA, a key reason that the quality of mailroom service is suffering is the fact that no students were consulted in the decision-making process.
The administration typically consults the WSA when its decisions directly affect students, but it seems that no such effort was made in the decision to cut mailroom hours.
Read Firke’s call to help Wes Station serve students better:
I began to work on the mailroom project when I received the all-campus email announcing the changes to Wesleyan Station this summer. It was the first I’d heard about it, and I didn’t know if the WSA had been consulted. I began an email discussion with Allen Alonzo, who runs the Cardinal Technology Center, and I learned the decision was a by-product of the recent budget cuts. The WSA was indeed never consulted.
Since ITS lost Ganesan Ravishanker and Wesleyan Station lost Lisa Davis, the lack of communication is slightly understandable, but the WSA still should always be consulted on student life issues. By not doing so, the final result of the Wesleyan Station hours change is worse off for students. If the WSA had been consulted, the hours almost certainly would’ve been more convenient for Wes students.
A few days ago this issue was blown wide open by unprecedented levels of poor service at the downstairs package window in Usdan. Since the mailroom staff was downsized from 6 employees to three, students this year have complained of long lines––literally winding up the stairs––and unacceptably long delays in processing. The congestion is far worse than in previous years, so this doesn’t seem to be a regular “back to school rush” situation.
One student told me that he tracked his package electronically and received confirmation from the shipper that it had arrived at Wesleyan Station. However, he did not receive his confirmation email for another three days, and had to wait in line for a half-hour before receiving it.
A second student complained that her textbooks were caught up in the processing delays. She also tracked her packages and determined that all three were in Usdan; however, she received only one confirmation email. She decided to wait until receiving all three confirmations, so she didn’t have to wait in a thirty-minute line on three separate occasions. Meanwhile, she didn’t have any books to do her work with.
A third student waited in line at 2:30 on Tuesday for thirty minutes and then was told that his package had yet to be processed. When he returned at the end of the day, he had to wait another thirty minutes, only to discover the package still hadn’t been processed––and, the window was closing early. The package of homemade cookies was overnighted from his mother at a cost of around $40, so the mailroom window essentially cost his family about thirty bucks.
This whole mess represents a significant blow to student life, and I’m doing everything in my power to try to correct it. While the WSA may have been excluded from this conversation so far, the WSA Executive Committee and I are working hard to broker an equitable solution to the inexplicable decline in quality of in a vital student service.
If anyone has any more horror stories, feel free to email me at bfirke@wes. The WSA is going to lead the charge to fix Wesleyan Station, and any student input at all is crucial and appreciated.