Students use mail services despite national decline
Despite a national lag in U.S. Postal Service use, many USC students said they still use the service when they want to communicate in a more personal way.
The service currently operates on a $8.37 billion deficit, according to the Annual Report of Postmaster General. Pieces of mail handled has dropped 22 percent since its highest recent level of use in 2000.
Members of the four unions affiliated with the U.S. Postal Service are rallying around the country today from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. to encourage Congress members to end the mandate that forces the service to pre-fund pensions. Cutting this mandate will reduce $5 billion in annual cost.
The USC Mail Stop has not experienced a significant decrease in usage, according to Lilly Alvarez, its supervisor. The USC Mail Stop is located in Parking Structure X and offers all services a postal office would, in addition to those offered by UPS and FedEx.
Alvarez said the Mail Stop has consistently seen high demand because people value using mail as a more personal medium of communication.
âPackages deliver a bond with face-to-face communication instead of something electronic,â Alvarez said. âFor example, on Valentineâs Day, new students especially will receive care packages [sponsored by USC] from their parents.â
Alvarez also said the private shipping services offered at the Mail Stop can be used by students if the federal postal service isnât available.
Students said they still use mail to connect with friends and family.
Tricia Nguyen, a freshman majoring in biological sciences, said she mails gifts and letters to friends and family on the East Coast.
âYou canât send something physical like a sweater over the Internet,â Nguyen said.
Mazie Wong, a freshman majoring in business administration, said she uses mail to keep in touch with friends at other colleges.
âWeâre doing a notebook that gets passed around,â Wong said. âWe each write in it and it gets passed along until itâs a full circle.â
Students whose families and friends live nearby can see each other more easily, so they tend to not use the service as much.
Adam Syed, an undeclared freshman, said he only sends mail once or twice a year because most of his family and friends live in Pasadena.
âWhen I want to keep in touch with friends from high school, I just use Facebook,â Syed said. âItâs a lot easier than sending a letter.â
Joel Kutz, a sophomore from Pennsylvania majoring in screenwriting, said he uses the mail to stay close to his family.
âItâs difficult going to school 3,000 miles away from home, but being able to send letters and packages really closes that gap,â Kutz said. âThereâs something about a physical letter that makes you feel much more connected than you do through email.â