‘Uni are failing students living on campus’: Students outraged at new parcel system

Students were queuing nearly two hours to collect parcels from new mailroom

Lancaster University students are outraged at the new parcel system on campus.

The new system has moved the collection point away from the college porters to a Central Mailroom at the former St John’s Hospice charity shop in Edward Roberts Court at the centre of campus. This location caters for all colleges (except Graduate College), leading to congestion when collecting parcels.

On the new system’s opening day of termtime, students were made to queue for up to an hour and forty minutes to receive their packages, despite each college being given a two hour slot in which they can collect. At its height, the queue reached as far as Furness and Fylde colleges.

County college confirmed that not all on campus students’ post is being collected at this new location. Letters can still be collected from college porters however parcels can now be collected from this new Central Mailroom. Each college has three allocated two-hour slots a week. These are between 12pm to 9pm as well as on Saturdays when any college can pick up parcels from 12pm to 5pm.

Rachel, a second year student, said: “Uni are once again failing students living on campus and it’s a joke. Prior to this people could just pick up the post from their college porters and there was very rarely a queue.” She also said that “Social distancing [was] not being enforced.”

Second year student Niamh waited in the queue for 50 minutes and told The Tab Lancaster: ‘There’s only 1 porter in the collection room and that’s it.”

Niamh added: “We were told that college fees help pay for parcel collection so why have they changed it to this system?” She also confirmed that social distancing guidelines were not being maintained in the queue, saying: “people aren’t keeping the full two meters and most are not wearing masks.”

She went onto say that she was “freezing” and “so so annoyed. I missed out on a society night because I’m collecting perishable goods and if I don’t collect them tonight then I won’t get them for another 2 day. I feel bad for the porters because it seems like they don’t like the system either but it’s organised so badly”.

Niamh reported that the porter working at the Central Mailroom told her that because of the queue he had been working overtime and “he’s had enough”.

Like a few other students, Niamh had received a notification that her parcel had been delivered but was unable to be found after she reached the front of the queue. She added: “I waited for nothing”.

When contacted for comment, Lancaster University said: “The parcel collection system has had to be adapted due to the pandemic, however we acknowledge there is an issue with demand at the beginning of term that we are working hard to resolve.

“Due to the current situation, parcel collections continue to be managed centrally as some of the previous collection spaces were small, crowded and could contravene social distancing guidance now in place. Central operations also mean we can limit couriers’ movements across campus and avoids excess contact points.

“The number of parcels received at the start of term is significant so the hub has been very busy. Additional staff are being brought in to help manage the demand, and we are exploring options for an additional pick up point.”

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