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Delays in postal service not just due to poor weather, students say

Students in campus residence halls say deliveries are stalled within residence halls.

Lost, out of stock or undelivered textbooks due at Main Campus residence halls and the Student Center bookstore have been the subject of complaints from multiple students, who said the mishaps have caused delays in classwork and created unnecessary extra costs. 

Multiple students in Peabody Hall said they were misled since the Peabody address listed on Temple’s Facilities Management website is for the Johnson & Hardwick residence halls.

Elizabeth DaCrema, a freshman art history major who lives in Peabody, said she ordered art supplies online but did not receive them from the front desk until a month later, even though they had arrived at Temple, according to her package tracking service.

MaryJane Moyer-Fittipaldi, a sophomore journalism and media studies and production double major, said in an email that Amazon never delivered a required textbook for her U.S. Society general education course.

Since she had a paper due on the book, Moyer had to buy a copy from the bookstore as a last resort.

“I normally try to get ahead in my classes, but this mess-up has set me back three weeks,” she said.

The campus Barnes & Noble bookstore has caused problems for other students as well. “Two of my professors have said they ordered a set of books for the bookstore here to stock and then the books have never come in,” Jill Richards, an undeclared freshman, said in an email.

Richards instead ordered books online to get them sooner, but encountered more problems.

“[United States Postal Service] will deliver a package at 11:30 p.m. and say ‘business closed, notice left,’” Richards said. “Obviously when you try to deliver a package at midnight the business is going to be closed.”

“Some books have still not arrived after ordering them at the very start of the semester,” Richards added.

“In the past few weeks, we have noticed slowed mail and package delivery to the residence halls,” Michael Scales, associate vice president for student affairs who oversees the mailroom operations for residence halls, said in an email. “We believe the recent occurrences have been weather related.”

“While we do not control the operation of the USPS, we do advocate for our students when service expectations are not met,” he said.

Scales said he will work to get the incorrect address fixed on the Facilities Management site, though he noted that the correct address appears on the Student Affairs website.

According to Temple Student Affairs’ website, residence halls are served directly by USPS and not by the university post office, though the Facilities Management site notes that the UPO “work[s] closely with the U.S. Postal Service and contract carriers.”

Students living in residence halls have mailboxes that are delivered to regularly, but must pick up received packages at the front desk in the lobby of the residence hall. Email notifications are sent to inform students that a package is waiting for them.

Joe Brandt can be reached at joseph.brandt@temple.edu.

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