The lease for UT’s on-campus post office has been extended through February 2016 after representatives of University Operations, University Mail Services and the United States Postal Service met on Oct. 17.
The lease, initially set to expire in September, was extended through February of next year to give involved parties time to work out the details of the office’s future. It was then extended for two additional years to provide time for the University and the post office to work in tandem on analyzing the mailing needs of the campus.
“We don’t want to be pressed for time to make long-term plans, and [the lease extension] gives us time to plan further into the future with all the changes coming to the University,” University Operations spokeswoman Cindy Posey said. “We want to meet the mailing needs of the campus community. We very much value what the post office provides in meeting those needs.”
Posey said, through conversations with the postal service, UT has found students make up the majority of the campus branch’s customers.
“Part of our planning is to conduct surveys from our customers and find out what their needs are,” Posey said.
The lease extension comes as a relief to geology junior Gabrielle Ramirez, who frequently uses the campus branch.
“With the size of our student population … it just makes sense to have a post office available on campus, just as much as there’s two Wendy’s on campus,” Ramirez said.
John Christian, a former UT employee who has had a P.O. box at the branch for more than 40 years, said he thinks keeping the post office on campus is advantageous to everyone.
“I know people call it snail mail, but the USPS on campus performs a very important, convenient service,” Christian said.
Postal Service spokesman Sam Bolen said the postal service will continue to work with the University to develop a plan extending past the new lease.
“The new lease allows both parties time to develop a plan to bring the campus community the best possible mail services in the future,” Bolen said.