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Mail Handling Options on Kent Campus: U.S. Postal Service and Mail Services

Posted March 7, 2011

On April 17, 2011, the United States Postal Service (USPS) will increase its rates on several different types of mail.

special feature Mail Services inside
Mail Services is everywhere!

Though the rates are somewhat confusing, the USPS website is helpful. Customers who do not have scales can choose from several flat rate options to ship, or they can choose a shape based on the dimensions of their package. This makes it easier to calculate postage.

Though Kent State University has a USPS facility on campus on the lower floor of the Kent Student Center, it differs from Kent State Mail Services, which is located in the Administrative Services Building.

The mission of the Mail Services Department is to receive, prepare and distribute the university's mail and packages with timely, accurate and expeditious processes that adhere to the United States Postal Service rules and regulations, serve Kent State's strategic goals, and satisfy customer's expectations with continuous improvement in customer service.

Unlike the USPS branch in the student center, Mail Services deals with mostly administrative mail. They mail to students, prospective students and alumni in mass quantities. For example, students graduating in May of this year have received postcards about commencement events and graduation fair. That is thanks to Mail Services.

Its services can also include addressing, inserting and folding letters. Mail Services also sells stamps, as does the USPS in the Kent Student Center. For their work, Mail Services employs a relatively modest staff according to Steve Finley, manager of Mail Services.

"We have two trucks delivering mail, employ four full-time delivery workers, and seven student employees. I have the best employees. We rock!" Finley says.

Another core difference is that Mail Services and USPS are employed by different people. They also do not work together in the traditional sense.

"They are a contract station. The Post Office is in charge of them. We are employees of the university. But there is a gray area. They refer people to us, we refer people to them. So do we work with them? Yes," Finley says.

Despite the price hike that the USPS is planning on making in April, Finley believes the changes will be minimal. The USPS has cut many jobs and services over the past few years, but it continues to record financial losses. Since the USPS does not receive tax dollars, it is allowed to raise prices as long as the hikes do not exceed the inflation rate of 1.7 percent.

"We have to inform all departments across campus that it's changing," Finley says.

Mail Services is located in the Administrative Services Building on the right hand side on the corner of Horning and Loop. For convenience purposes, there is a drop box for interdepartmental mail in the rear of the building. Mail received after 3:45 p.m. is processed the following business day.

For more information on Mail Services, visit http://www.kent.edu/mailservices/index.cfm.

For more information on the United States Postal service, visit http://www.usps.com/.

By Jaime Ramos