Policies

Mailbox Assignment Policy

Columbia University issues mailboxes and mailbox keys to undergraduate residents of Columbia Housing only. A student retains the same mailbox for the duration of his or her residence in Columbia Housing, unless s/he takes a voluntary leave of absence, withdraws from classes, or moves off-campus. In these cases, a mailbox assignment is cancelled and mailbox keys must be returned to the Mail window on the 3rd floor of Lerner Hall upon check-out. A $50 key replacement fee is assessed for an unreturned key. For more information on mail forwarding policy, visit the Forwarding Mail page.

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Proper Use of Mailboxes

Students are not permitted to accept mail on behalf of relatives or guests; a mailbox is for the sole usage of the student to which it is assigned. Incoming mail for non-Columbia students is returned to the sender. Similarly, mailbox keys should not be given to others under any circumstances.
 
Mailboxes should always be closed tightly. If a mailbox does not close or lock properly, please notify Package Center staff immediately so that it can be repaired.
 

Study Abroad Mailbox Policy

Students departing on a University-approved program of study abroad who intend to return to Columbia Housing can request to reserve their mailbox assignment for up to two semesters by completing a Mailbox Assignment Extension Request. A student whose request is granted may retain his/her mailbox key while abroad, however should s/he not return to Columbia Housing, the mailbox key issued must be returned to the Mail window on the 3rd floor of Lerner Hall within seven days of the start of the term that the student resumes study on the Morningside Heights campus. A $50 key replacement fee is otherwise assessed.

Absent an approved Mailbox Assignment Extension Request, the mailbox assignments of students studying abroad are cancelled upon check-out of Columbia Housing and a new mailbox is assigned upon return. Assigned mailbox keys must be returned upon check-out.
 

Package Return Policy

Due to storage limitations and sanitation considerations, oversized parcels and deliveries containing perishables are held for up to seven days only, after which oversized parcels are returned to the sender and packages containing perishables are discarded.
 
All other parcels are kept for up to 14 days. If not collected within seven days, a second email is sent to the student notifying him or her that the package is scheduled for return in seven days. Due to storage limitations, packages cannot be held any longer than prescribed. 
 

Incorrectly Addressed Mail

Incorrectly addressed, unsolicited mass mailings are returned to the sender. Other incorrectly addressed mail (non-mass mailing) is a low priority for processing. This mail can take up to several days to reach the proper Lerner Hall mailbox.
 
 

Mailbox Stuffing Policy

Columbia University student groups and affiliated schools, departments, and offices can request flyers to be placed in student mailboxes for a fee.
 
Outside organizations may request a mailbox stuffing if it is in connection with the activity of a student group, affiliated school, department, or office. Nonprofit community organizations, public and civic organizations, political organizations, and governmental organizations should first consult with the University’s Office of Government Relations and Community Affairs as a campus contact to arrange a request. Requests from outside organizations that do not meet these criteria will be denied. Fees to be applied upon approval.

Items cannot be larger than 3" wide, 5" high, 15" deep.

All content subject to review before mailbox stuffing. Requests must be submitted for review.