Cedarville University post office worker lifts a box

Package Lockers Help Reduce Potential COVID Exposure

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by Lauren McGuire, Student Public Relations Writer

Package lockers in the Stevens Student CenterCedarville University receives nearly 1,400 packages each day for faculty, staff and students. With long lines of students picking up these packages in an enclosed indoor location during a pandemic, the post office staff looked for a way to keep the campus community safe by speeding up a concept that had surfaced nearly two years prior.

Two years ago, long lines and keeping track of such a large volume of packages was becoming an increasingly common issue for the Cedarville University post office.

In order to make sure students received their packages in a timely manner, a package locker system idea was implemented at the start of the academic term in January.

The package locker system idea, and the system that is in place now, required new lockers to be installed in the Steven Student Center, replacing existing student mailboxes.

In the new system, every time a student receives a package, the post office sends them an email that directs them to one bank of lockers, any letter between A and E, and a PIN number. The package will remain in the locker for 48 hours before it goes back into the internal system. At that point, students can go to a pickup window to receive their package.

Students can easily scan their student ID or enter the PIN number at a screen outside the package locker. To watch a video representation of how these lockers work, click here.

Tammy Slone, director of retail services, and Paula Adkins, postal and print services supervisor, researched colleges that are using the modern package system, including East Tennessee State University, Vanderbilt University, and Miami University in Ohio to see how installing this system affected their schools. “It was clear to us in our visits that this would all but eliminate lines at the post office, and in the short time that they have been in use on campus this has proven to be true,” said Slone.

The number of package lockers that the university installed will be sufficient to keep up with growth for five years, Slone said. During construction of the current package lockers, two more walls were outfitted to receive lockers in the future if expansion is necessary. In addition to package lockers, 220 mailboxes that operate the same way as package lockers are also available for regular mail distribution and were also recently installed.

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 4,550 undergraduate, graduate, and online students in more than 150 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is one of the largest private universities in Ohio, recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, strong graduation, and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and high student engagement ranking. For more information about the University, visit  www.cedarville.edu