A flurry of packages at desk

As dorms fill up, some blame Amazon

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According to data maintained by Baker House desk, so far this year, inbound packages are up only about 30 percent. Above is a histogram with seven day bins.
Source: Baker House Desk
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Students have been receiving many more packages this year, clogging mail rooms at dorms. Some blame Amazon Student, a new program that gives free two-day shipping for students with .edu mail accounts.
Logan P. Williams—The Tech

Dormitory desks have recently been flooded with packages — and tense e-mails asking residents to please pick up their packages.

“It’s definitely been very packed, we’ve been getting over 100 packages a day for the past week or so,” said Jamie Huang ’11, a Simmons desk worker for three years. The volume of packages is “definitely more than I’ve ever seen before,” she said. Desk workers at East Campus and Macgregor also report receiving over a hundred packages a day.

According to data collected at Baker House Desk, the number of packages per day this year is not significantly different from years previous. The number of packages received in the first half of September is only 30 percent more in 2010 than in 2008 and 2009.

The culprit? Most desk workers blame Amazon Student, a new program that give students free two-day shipping on Amazon orders.

“My personal friends have been talking about it, and we’ve definitely been getting more than half of our packages from Amazon,” Huang said.

Brain C. Conn ’13, a desk worker at Burton Conner, agrees. “Normally, a [delivery man] will just bring in like twenty packages, and the Amazon signature is on all of them. Us desk workers don’t really like it as much,” he added.

As mail rooms across campus fill up, desk workers have been sending regular e-mails for residents to come pick up their packages. Audrey L. Horst ’11, desk captain of East Campus, signed her e-mail with: “Never wanting to see anything from Amazon again.”

Alex V. Rodriguez, a senior in Course IX, used Amazon Student to order all of his textbooks.

“It’s super duper awesome,” he said, “and very helpful at the beginning of the year.” Though he normally orders his books through Amazon, the quick shipping has assuaged his fears about textbooks not getting to him on time.

Asked if his stress level has gone down since getting Amazon Student, he replied “very much so.”

Though the daily deliveries have overwhelmed desk workers, students have mostly been prompt about picking up their packages.

“It depends on the person. When packages first arrive, there’s the first torrent of people, there are always some stragglers. Some packages have been here for 2 or 3 weeks. People usually pick up within the week,” said Wei Sun ’11 of Next Desk.

Some desk workers say it’s just the time of year. There just a lot of packages “at the beginning of the year,” said Juan Ybarra ’12 of Senior House Desk, “their parents send them stuff.”

“It’s just worse at this time of year because people are ordering schoolbooks, mostly textbooks,” said Celine Yang ’13 of McCormick desk.

It’s not just textbooks. On Wednesday, several people besieged East Campus desk on Wednesday, excited for their copy of the video game Halo: Reach.

Matthew Celaya ’13, ordered his copy Monday. “They had free release day shipping,” he said, “It was fucking awesome.”

There are slightly bulkier deliveries too. “Freshmen are ordering large items,” Sun said, “There was a large 42-inch TV that came in today.”

For now, the work of sorting through all the deliveries continues. “I’m actually in the middle of package logging so I can’t take the call right now,” a New House desk worker said Wednesday evening.