Snail mail: Still a hit with college students
Student Frank Wallace sorts mail for his work study job in the Briar Cliff mailroom.
SIOUX CITY, Iowa — The U.S. Postal Service – victim of hemorrhaging revenue and threats of trimmed delivery days – is holding its own in at least one place. On college campuses, packages and envelopes still get pre-Internet-style respect.
"If you ask a student, they say absolutely. They love getting the mail,” said Renee Allan, who coordinates the Briar Cliff University mail room.
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The school has four residence halls and processes up to 25 mesh bags of mail a week, each holding about 70 pounds.
The numbers are steady in large part due to something email, tweets and texts can’t replace for students living on campus: reminders of home.
There are homemade cookies from Mom, birthday gifts and holiday presents. In most cases -- especially for students from far-flung locations -- it's the only way.
Allan said the Briar Cliff mail volume from August through January included 5,000 packages delivered to more than 450 on-campus boxes. Naturally, the heaviest users are from out of town.
Briar Cliff senior Amanda Huelskamp, of Omaha, goes to the student post office every day, hoping to receive mail.
"It's sad, but true," she said. "I still check every day, just in case."
When something does arrive, she said, it’s a big deal. That's something technology can't replace.
"If one person gets mail," Huelskamp said, "everyone is like, 'Oh my gosh, what did you get?'"