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With a full-time staff of only 11, the TCU Post Office relies heavily upon their supplemental workforce of 14 employees, which includes student and temporary workers.鈥疶he entire team ensures accurate sorting, timely delivery and excellent customer service. When it鈥檚 time for campus move-in, the task becomes monumental. 

Processing move-in-related packages is a feat manager Andy Easley describes as a massive undertaking that requires weeks of advance preparation to receive, sort and distribute the thousands upon thousands of packages shipped to TCU, primarily by first-year students. 

To accommodate this, post office operations move from its regular location in the BLUU to the Frog Alley Parking Garage in the summer. Supplemental electrical power, additional personnel and security are required to manage the high volume of packages. The staff often works 12 hours or more a day, and, even in a shaded garage, temperatures are stifling. And the clock is ticking to be out of the parking garage by the first home football game.鈥 

The first big step takes place after the culmination of spring football practice in April. 

鈥淎fter the spring football game, we start the design and buildout of the Frog Alley Parking Garage,鈥 Easley said. 鈥淪helving, computer and electrical connections, fencing, mail transport equipment, mail bins, rug racks, etc.鈥疶here鈥檚 a lot of coordination involved.鈥 

Activity heightens again in July, once students have their campus post office box (a requirement for move-in). That鈥檚 when flats, boxes and parcel packages filled with clothing, dorm d茅cor and school supplies arrive. Also shipped are large items like futons, microwaves, mini fridges, desks and rugs 鈥 a mountain鈥檚 worth.鈥 

As items are received, workers sort the packages alphabetically and place them on shelves.鈥疭tudents who receive large quantities have their items consolidated and stored in special large containers and on pallets.鈥 Students then pick up their packages in August on an assigned schedule coordinating with their move-in date. Last year鈥檚 volume grew by 15% compared with 2022 to nearly 33,000 packages. Of all the packages the campus post office receives in a year, 43% arrive in the first three months of school. 

鈥淢ove-in has been successful, but we have now outgrown our space and volumes continue to grow,鈥 said Easley. 鈥淥ur first-year students generate a ton of packages, and we are struggling with the capacity to continue at this pace.鈥 

TCU is the only university he knows of that has this type of move-in process. After collaboration with Housing & Residence Life, this year students will be asked to limit packages to no more than 15 during the move-in period, which will operate from July 15 to Aug. 16, 2024.鈥疎asley said this limit should not impact most students, as it falls in line with what the majority are shipping during move-in.鈥 

鈥淥f the over 3,500 students who shipped during the 2023 move-in, about 300 students accounted for one-third of the total volume, which unintentionally created a chokepoint,鈥 he said. 鈥淏eing mindful of the 15-package limit helps ensure a much more smooth and efficient operation that will benefit all incoming students as well as the hardworking TCU Post Office staff.鈥 

Easley offers other considerations for a smooth move-in process: 

  • Packages need to be no more than 70 pounds 
  • Consolidate as many orders as possible 鈥 or purchase items locally 
  • Be patient during the process; last year about 400 were in line when the move-in package center opened 

  

Tag IconCampus Life