Campus Mail Services installed touch screen mail kiosks at three different locations around campus.
Located at Foy Hall, the Student Center and the Overtun Rudd Center, the kiosks perform almost anything that can be done at the post office, including sending letters and most packages.
The only mail it cannot accommodate are international packages weighing more than two pounds, packages over 10 pounds and insured packages.
“(Before the kiosks were installed) I had a lot of students come to the main mail room asking if we sold stamps or if we could mail a package, and I’d always have to direct them to the post office,” said Whit Allen, manager of Campus Mail Services. “It became an every other day thing.”
Allen heard of mail kiosks being used at a conference at Lipscomb University in San Diego and decided to look into this concept.
“I went to Lipscomb last year, and everyone there seemed to love it from faculty and staff to students,” Allen said. “They sold me.”
Allen said that everyone from small children to the elderly will have no trouble using the machine.
“I haven’t received any calls from anyone asking how to do ‘this’ or ‘that,’” Allen said.
The kiosks are touch screen and can be viewed in both English and Spanish.
Mail services picks up the mail from each kiosk every day at 4 p.m. and takes the mail to the Auburn City Post Office.
Additional pick-up times will be added in the future if it is deemed necessary.
“The post office is glad we’re doing what we’re doing,” Allen said. “They’re excited we have machines here on campus for the students to use.”
As excited as the post office is for these kiosks, Auburn students may be the most excited.
“I’ve had to mail a few items since I’ve been at Auburn, and it can be difficult if you live on campus,” said Megan Barbar, junior in pre-veterinary medicine. “Mailing letters on campus will be much more convenient.”
“I talked to a few students and they have enjoyed (the kiosks) tremendously,” Allen said. “I’m glad I brought something on that’s beneficial to the University as a whole.”
Auburn faculty have also found the new kiosks useful.
Brian Connelly, professor of management, has used the service several times and has found it to be extremely useful.
“This kiosk has been fabulous,” Connelly said. “I used to have to go to the post office, and this saves a lot of gas and more importantly, my time.
The funding for the kiosks came from the mail services budget at no additional cost to students or faculty.
“There is no cost for using these services,” Allen said. “The machine is there for the Auburn University family. There are no extra fees or hidden costs.”
Allen also said certain schools in the area do not have mail kiosks, but are beginning to look into them after seeing the success the kiosks have had.
“Our competition in (Tuscaloosa) doesn’t have one yet,” Allen said, “(Alabama) is looking into purchasing a machine.”
Additional kiosks may be built in the future.
“(Building) more kiosks is definitely an option,” Allen said. “We may put another one sometime down the road in either Shelby or Lowder. We want to make it as convenient as we possibly can for the students.”