Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Powell Campus Center Mail Room

It is a tradition that has fended off homesickness for generations, the care package. Every college student (up until a few years ago) has longed for that slip of paper in his or her mailbox. The one saying, “You have a package!” You get excited, you run to the counter, and hope that some homemade cookies and perhaps some cash await you on the other side. Not many stop to think, after finding a sad, empty box, perhaps with a cobweb in it, what about the actual mailroom itself? Where did the idea come from? We certainly are past the days of the Pony Express, the first mail-delivery system in the US: a trail of horse riders. And now with the digital age, we receive our package notifications by email. Yet what happened between horses and email that brought us to the mailroom? In some countries, the only means of getting your mail is through a PO box. Did you know that Ben Franklin was named the first Postmaster General? Clusters of boxes (approximately 40 or more) were found to be a much cheaper means of home-delivery of the mail in the 1920s. Which leads us to the Powell Campus Center Mailroom.
Constructed in 1994, the three-story building is the center of student activity. Featuring a dining hall, a cafĂ©, the radio-station WALF, a student lounge, the mailroom, and many more. Constructed in honor of Lea and Arthur Powell, alumna of this university. According to the Alfred University website, “Students are assigned a mailbox number when they enroll as a full-time undergraduate student. They retain this box number for the duration of their undergraduate career.” These mailboxes once served as the main form of communication for Alfred students, now only used for flyers, announcing career fairs or health services, or letters and paychecks.
The energetic clerk, Debbie Campbell, always has a smile on her face and is always ready to help you out with any mailing problem. Whether it be finding some stamps to send a note to grandma, or trying to send a package to a friend.

1 comment:

  1. Did anybody else ever unintentionally confuse postal employees by stating your school postal address? # PCC, Alfred, NY 14802? UPS wouldn't believe me.