Long wait times, student frustration: QU postal service reopens in Carl Hansen Student Center

Nicole McIsaac, Managing Editor

Amid loosened COVID-19 restrictions, Quinnipiac University reopened the Carl Hansen Student Center Post Office on the Mount Carmel Campus this fall. However, the resurrection of the location has resulted in increased wait times and disappointing experiences, some students say.

“I have kinda given up hope,” said Elena Dean, a first-year film, television and media arts major. “I am not going to be ordering from Amazon a lot anymore.”

Students can now pick up packages from the Student Center once again, but some said the lines haven’t improved. (Jack Spiegel)

The Carl Hansen Post Office was temporarily shut down in 2020, due to social distancing measures. Supervisor of Mail and Print Services Joseph Camporeale said the university decided to move all mailing services on main campus to the mailing center, located on New Road past the College of Arts & Sciences, as a way to relieve congestion in the Student Center of students trying to retrieve packages.

“We’re in a bad spot as far as location wise, sandwiched between the bookstore and dining,” Camporeale said. “The lines were just out of control. So we said, ‘Well, we’re not going to solve the problem, we’re just going to move the line.’”

While the Rocky Top Student Center Post Office on the York Hill Campus remained open during that time, many students who used the mail center during the pandemic said they still endured long wait times.

Brian Ortiz, a senior biology major, said he would wait in line at the mail center for anywhere from 15-30 minutes, depending on the day.

“Most days I’ve had mail and walk all the way down to CAS which is almost over a mile,” Ortiz said. “That was really tough. And then once you got there, it was pretty packed.”

However, on the administrative side, Camporeale said that utilizing the mailing center building was a great alternative for services because it moved the lines faster due to the amount of “regular employees there processing packages all day.”

“If the line started building, I could throw two or three people to help clear the line,” Camporeale said. “Here, (at the Carl Hansen Post Office) I can’t do that because I’m bound by whoever I have up here at the moment.”

Cruz said he lives in a Quinnipiac-owned off-campus house this academic year, and has picked up books at the revived Carl Hansen Post Office for the first time since his freshman year. He said his maximum wait time was roughly 10 minutes.

“I think right now it’s the best as it’s been for me during my four years of being here.” Cruz said.

Grace McNamara, a first-year psychology major, said that although she has only used the Carl Hansen Post Office to pick up packages once this semester, she has noticed the build-up of students waiting for mail while passing by in the student center.

“I always see the line long whenever I am passing through any time of the day,” McNamara said.

Camporeale said there are approximately 50 employed student workers combined at all three locations (Carl Hansen Post Office, Rocky Top Post Office and the Mail Center) throughout the course of an academic year. However, specifically at the Carl Hansen Post Office, he said roughly 20 students are scheduled to work at different times during the week.

Despite receiving applications for students to work for Quinnipiac’s postal services, Camporeale said it is challenging to recruit new students and have them settle before the start of the semester.

“Returning students are not a problem, (it’s) getting the new students on board or newly hired students is a bit of an issue the first week or two of the semester,” Camporeale said. “They have to be hired and then they have to go through the onboarding process.”

Looking toward the future of postal services at Quinnipiac, Camporeale said he hopes the university would establish parcel lockers, a system many companies and offices use in their mailing centers.

A parcel locker is a lockable storage box where packages can be left and stored for collection by a mail carrier, delivery company, residents, and/or customers, according to the website All Copy Products.

“(Parcel lockers) would help to not only expedite the process of handling those packages, but also enhance the student experience in that you won’t have the lines that you have now waiting to pick up packages, they would have 24 hour access,” Camporeale said.

Although Camporeale said he does not know where the university stands on installing the lockers, he said having students ensure their packages are addressed properly will help smooth the pick-up process amid the long lines.

“When they’re ordering, (they should) make sure everything is addressed with their full name, including middle initial, student box number, and then the correct mailing address, which is 275 Mount Carmel Avenue.” Camporeale said.

The Carl Hansen Post Office’s hours of operation are from 11:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Monday-Thursday, and 11:00 a.m. to 3:45p.m. on Friday.

Katie Langley contributed to this reporting.