On campus jobs: a glance into the operations of the student mailroom


Abram Carter

The Student mail center, open Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays noon through 4 p.m., takes and receives packages during its hours.

Abram Carter, [email protected], News Writer

The UNC Asheville student mailroom provides a variety of different things for students including mail, cards, letters and packages, but what really goes on behind the scenes holds importance as well. 

“I have used the mail room but I don’t often. The process was fine, however I know it sometimes is crowded,” said Hope Sikes, a sophomore at UNCA. 

According to the Receiving Mail section under the housing page on the UNCA website, only current residential students have access to mail received and picked up at this location.

“I’ve never had complications with the mail room because I’ve never used it, and I’ve never used it because I am afraid to have a complication,” said Katt Snyder, a freshman. 

Students like Snyder and Sikes gave some ideas for improvement of the mailroom. This could possibly draw in more workers for certain shifts at the mail center if needed. 

“The mail room can improve by listening to student recommendations and trying to change what students have complained about,” Snyder said. 

Improvements include being more on time with notifications of received packages, as well as deliveries and having shorter lines during pick up times for students. 

“The mail room could improve on the speed of delivery,” Sikes said.

The student mailroom employees have many responsibilities pertaining to what happens to student mail and packages. 

“I give students packages, check in packages, put letter mail away in boxes and make keys for mailboxes,” said Anna Gaynes, a UNCA sophomore and student mailroom worker. 

All current students have the option to get a mail key from the mail center at the start of their freshman year, but can obtain one later as well if needed. 

Branden Schulte, a senior who also works in the student mailroom, said they’ve worked in the mail center for roughly three years and enjoy the experience. 

“I receive packages and letter mail in bulk and sort such that each student receives the packages and letters they ordered,” Schulte said. 

Student employees in the mailroom do all types of work to keep the flow inside of the student mail center easy and accessible. 

“I check in and sort students’ mail and retrieve packages for students,” said Talia Olbrich-Daniels, a junior and student mailroom worker.

The mailroom is located on the bottom floor of the Highsmith Student Union and receives mail from Amazon, UPS, FedEx and more. 

Working at the mail center on campus provides benefits like being able to save gas, get to classes from work more quickly and be closer to on-campus living spaces. 

“I do enjoy working here,” Schulte said. “In terms of benefits, the only one I get is it satisfies my work study requirement.” 

Gaynes said they get a benefit as well from the student mailroom job. 

“The only benefit is that it’s on campus and I can check in my own mail, which is cool,” Gaynes said. 

Olbrich-Daniels said they don’t really see anywhere improvements can be made in the mailroom. 

“There’s nothing to improve on,” Olbrich-Daniels said. 

Even with the benefits though, there’s also downsides to working on-campus jobs, as some said the number of hours is not always beneficial for employees. The minimum number of hours allowed on campus recently is 20 hours a week for full-time students as stated under the work hour limits on the student employment section of the UNCA webpage.

“We do not have many shifts, so the majority of workers can only get eight to 10 hours a week,” Schulte said.

The current hours of operation for the Highsmith student mailroom runs Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturdays noon through 4 p.m.

“One thing I would change about my job would be having a way to help students locate missing mail and packages better,” Gaynes said. “But we are working very hard to keep the mail center running smoothly.”