Columbia Mail Delivered Nearly 9,000 Packages to Student Rooms During Pre-Delivery

Columbia Mail’s pre-delivery program allows students to send packages to campus beginning in early August. The Mail team delivers any packages received before the mid-August cutoff date directly to the student’s room so that it’s there when the student arrives for Check-In. This eliminates the need for students to haul large or numerous packages from the Mail Center and greatly improves efficiency during Check-In.

October 03, 2023

Columbia Mail delivered 8,868 student packages to residence halls in August 2023 – a 59% increase from last year's previous historic high of 5,562. The Mail team made deliveries to every undergraduate residence hall, including the Brownstones and East Campus. 

In July, students were notified by Columbia Housing that they could begin sending packages to campus in early August for Columbia Mail’s pre-delivery program. Any package received before the mid-August cutoff date would be in the students’ rooms when they arrived for Check-In.  

This year, Columbia Mail received and delivered 7,930 packages before the cutoff date — plus an additional one thousand packages received after the cutoff date that were still delivered in advance. About 5,000 of the total packages (56%) belonged to First Years, with a total of 626 unique recipients. The remaining packages delivered – about 3,800 – were to upperclass students.  

About 400 packages were delivered to the Brownstones and East Campus, with 25% of these packages being considered heavy or bulk items. While this volume represents a small portion of the total deliveries, complexities like limited elevators must be noted. Bulk or oversized items require multiple Mail staff members for one delivery, and while East Campus has elevators, the majority of rooms and all of the townhouses have multiple levels that are only accessible by staircases.  

In Columbia Housing’s annual Check-In survey, the pre-delivery program received positive feedback from many students. Some of the open-ended responses included:

Even with its operational challenges, this program brings exponential value to the student experience. It means that students living in those locations do not have to come to the Mail Center to retrieve their bulk items, nor find a means of hauling them back to their building and navigate getting them into their rooms.  

“We take great pride in doing everything in our power to help incoming students have the smoothest possible Check-In weekend,” said Mike Pagan, Assistant Vice President for Columbia Mail. “The pre-delivery program also serves to pare down the number of packages in the Mail Center, which contributes to increased efficiency and shorter wait times for students picking up packages once the semester starts.”