By Isabella Mooney, contributing writer
Over 100 students have signed a petition asking Towson University to again deliver mail directly to West Village residence halls, citing concerns over accessibility for students with disabilities after all mail was centralized to the University Union post office at the start of the fall 2023 semester.
The Instagram user @ThisIsTU posted the petition on Sept. 20. That account was created in response to the Student Government Association-led anti-hate campaign #NotAtTU, most recently relaunched last October. ThisIsTU’s first post said it “seeks to reveal what the university needs to improve upon in caring for and helping its students, especially those belonging to marginalized communities.”
“My main purpose of this petition is a matter of making mail accessible again,” Bee Cigna, a senior and creator of the petition, said.
Mail to West Village residents was previously sent directly to their residence halls.
The volume of packages to the Union increased over 25% after the change was made, Pamela Mooney, director of Parking and Transportation Services, and Steve Jones, vice president of Operations and chief Human Resources officer, said in an email Friday.
“It has increased wait time … it has overwhelmed the post office staff,” Cigna said. “Most importantly for me, it has created an issue for disabled students.”
There is concern about how students who require mobility aids will be able to maneuver the Union post office due to overcrowding, according to Jin Entwistle, a representative for the Disabled Student Union and the student disability representative for the SGA.
Aside from that overcrowding, students that require mobility aids are worried about how they will transport large or heavy packages.
Cigna requires a cane due to their disability. They said they are unsure how they’d transport a large or heavy package the almost half-mile walk back to their dorm in West Village from the Union.
Other students have also reported that their packages are being delayed by the university since the change.
Lena Sherbert, a junior, explained her experience having her medication, which requires refrigeration immediately upon arrival, sent to the Union rather than her residence hall via email Wednesday.
Sherbert said she was not notified when her medication was delivered to Towson; she received pharmacy confirmation of its delivery 10 minutes after it arrived. She then spent 20 minutes trying to locate the package at the Union post office, where they at first said it hadn’t yet arrived.
“The box was still cold, but had it not been, my necessary medication would have spoiled,” Sherbert said.
A post office employee said Monday that perishable packages go into a refrigerator while awaiting pick-up. However, those packages are not given priority processing against non-perishables, he said.
The post office’s website said packages take an average of 24-48 hours to be processed after delivery from the shipper. Signage at the post office also tells that delivery confirmation by the shipper does not mean the package is ready to be picked up from the university.
The SGA was not consulted or notified about the change prior to it being implemented, Jordan Colquitt, president of the SGA, said in a message Friday.
Colquitt, Mooney and Jones confirmed that the SGA is now conducting meetings with the university to understand why the change in mailing location was made.
“We sought to increase the access and efficiency of mail and package delivery for all students and the campus community by developing a more consistent process,” Mooney and Jones said.
However, some students disagree that changing the mailing system has been beneficial at all.
“There’s a lot of ways that this has really serious repercussions for students with disabilities,” Entwistle said.
Gabriel Donahue contributed to this article.