Westmont Mail Center unveils new intelligent lockers


Sofia Pela

Students pick up their packages from the new “smart” lockers at the mail center.

Madison Huntington, Staff Writer

New intelligent lockers greeted students looking to pick up their mail at the start of the new semester. Following an announcement last fall regarding the retirement of the tried and true metal mailboxes, a sense of mail-related anxiety took root across campus. This grand opening of the locker system answered many questions about exactly how this new system would work, but also brought surprises. 

In particular, students are now afforded greater flexibility when it comes to picking up packages. Mail Center student employee Anna Nicholas emphasized how “you can now pick up a package at any time. That means 24/7.” This represents a significant change from the previous system. Before, only small mail items could be accessed at any time from the metal mailboxes, while packages had to be distributed by a Mail Center employee during business hours.

However, there is one caveat to this 24/7 access: “If you are unable to pick up your package within 4 days, it will be returned to the Mail Center and you will then be required to retrieve it during our business hours of 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.,” according to mail center emails.

So far, the general opinion on the lockers has been one of broad approval, especially among underclassmen, who had less time to bond with their personal metal mailboxes and numbers before they were replaced. When asked about what they think about the new system, first-year Skylar Jones commented, “I like them. They’re so convenient and make it easy to pick up mail.” Specifically, ease of use appears to be a highly appreciated benefit of the new system. “I am glad I do not have to remember my mailbox number or combo anymore,” remarked a relieved second-year student. 

Still, some were caught off guard by the new system requiring the student to allow the intelligent locker to take a picture of their face in order to receive their package. “It’s giving ‘Big Brother’,” remarked a cybersecurity-conscious senior. Mail Center employee Trinity Meyers offered that the employees “do not have access to the pictures taken,” because they are “only for security purposes, so if packages go missing they can be tracked down.”

Another change that confused some students was how a package can be held for pickup in one of three distinct “kiosks” seemingly at random. In any case, the automated manner in which the locker door swings open to reveal one’s most recent Amazon order has already won over the student body. “It’s like magic, man!” exclaimed one excited student to a friend after receiving his mail. 

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