Goucher’s Spring 2022 decision to move the campus’ Post Office from its previous location in Dorsey Center to the Facilities, Management, and Services (FMS) building has drawn both praise and criticism from the faculty and student body.
Advocates of the decision point to the fact that it has centralized the movement of packages across campus. Meanwhile, opponents argue that the move places an undue burden on the student body, specifically disabled students who have trouble accessing the new location.
Andrew Voytek, director of FMS, has overseen the Post Office transition. According to Voytek, the Post Office was originally overseen by the Finance Office, but there was an organizational restructuring within Campus Operations earlier this year. This restructuring resulted in facilities, events, campus safety, and the post office falling under Voytek’s supervision.
Voytek said that since the FMS department already oversaw shipping and receiving for many goods and services, it made the most sense to have all of the steps in the process under one roof. Therefore, he made the decision for the Post Office to move to FMS to better align with the place where items come into campus.
However, the move has come at a cost for several students, including Post Office employees. A former employee, who wishes to remain anonymous, worked there for the entirety of the 2021-22 school year, but had trouble getting to work after the post office moved.
The employee has fibromyalgia, a condition that causes widespread pain, and this made walking to and from the post office difficult for them. The employee said that they would have left sooner, but couldn’t get a job in the middle of the semester.
Another student, who also wishes to remain anonymous, currently works at the post office. They said that, since fewer people want to make the trek to FMS, employees have more time to scan packages.
However, they note that since the post-office is a campus-wide service, it should be located in a spot that is accessible to everyone. When the announcement about the change in location first went out, this student sent an email to FMS explaining why it was a bad idea.
As a form of compromise, the post office has opened up a satellite location in the Athenaeum. This location opens an hour after the main location closes in order to move items from the FMS building.
While more convenient for some, the student, who is neurodivergent, said that adding more steps complicates the process for them and other employees. They also said that, before it was announced to the public, Voytek talked to the post office staff about the satellite location, and everyone told him it was a bad idea.
Nancy Williams-Nettles, acting head of the Office of Accessibility, has been working to resolve this issue. While she hasn’t gotten any personal complaints, she has heard that students have concerns, and is trying to communicate with both parties to come to a solution.
“It’s going to be a process”, Williams-Nettles said, acknowledging the multifaceted layers of the issue.
Written by Rory Sweeting ’24