Student Mail Delivered to Electronic Lockers Amid Renovations


Erin Koo

Small packages and mail delievered to the student mailroom can be picked up via the new electronic locker system.

As part of the ongoing renovations in Wilder Hall, the student mailroom package distribution system now includes a set of electronic lockers from which students can retrieve and sign for packages without staff assistance. The system allows students to collect their packages at any time during Wilder Hall’s hours of operation. The lockers pop open automatically when a code is entered to allow students to collect their packages.

Earlier today, the College announced its decision to permanently eliminate OCMRs. As a result, some mail formerly distributed via OCMR will now be dispensed through the locker system, while paper checks can be claimed at the mailroom window.

According to a press release published by the Office of Communications, the system went live Jan. 17, 2023 during Winter Term but, as of now, it services only letters and small packages. Due to the current size restriction on the lockers, larger parcels must be picked up at the mailroom window. Because this system will run six days a week and permit students to pick up their packages electronically, many students have been excited about the opening.

“While I believe there is nothing wrong with the old mailroom, I hope that the electronic lockers will allow me to pick up packages based on my busy schedule,” College first-year Shea Cheney said.

College first-year Walker Johnson, however, is hesitant to embrace the new system.

“I was originally excited by this new installation that will make student life easier, but I am not sure how I will pick up my mail that is in the lockers,” Johnson said.

Aside from the mailroom, the ongoing Wilder Hall renovations will include construction of a green room, an additional stair tower, and new offices that are more accessible to students.

While the in-progress renovation aims to improve student life, it has limited the current accessibility of Wilder Hall, which serves as the campus’s student union. During the current phase of construction, renovations have closed the previous mailroom entrance, limited the new space to collect packages, and blocked a student exit in the basement that leads to Wilder Bowl, Mudd Center and King Building.

According to Associate Dean of Students Thom Julian, the renovations will transform Wilder Hall into the type of student union that the Oberlin College administration envisions.

“Wilder is such a historical building that has functioned as a student center, but I don’t think it’s meeting the current state of the arts that we would like it to bring,” Julian said.

Director of Capital Improvements and Deputy Chief Facilities Officer Joe Comar and Business Manager Kris Weber worked to oversee the Wilder Hall renovation process.

“The Facility Planning and Construction and Facilities Business office serve as the bridge between the teams doing the actual construction work and the campus community affected by the renovation work in Wilder Hall,” Comar and Weber wrote in an email to the Review. “Thus far, in addition to design and construction management, a large focus has been placed on implementing the mailroom modifications and relocation of offices in preparation for construction.”