At first glance, the 1,725 student mailboxes look like bars of gold stacked along three walls. But behind those boxes and the individual combinations that allow students to access their mail, is Mailroom Supervisor Patty Duczeminski and 12 student workers who ensure that the Castleton communities receive the mail everyday “Students do a tremendous amount of work. Mail doesn’t just magically appear. The kids go during all weather to pick it up at the Castleton Post Office, and bring it back,” said Duczeminski.
Despite the small room and the tremendous amount of work, the students say that try to make it a fun environment. The walls are covered inside the mailroom with stories, cut outs, photos, and postcards that all tell stories. And the radio is always pumping.
Given the name “The Wall of Fame,” the most significant memorabilia from students and faculty hangs on the walls. Photos, postcards and a wide array of magazine cutouts help brighten the bleak white walls.
“We were sick of looking at the all white walls. The first thing we hung up were these cutouts of the Simpsons,” said Duczeminski.
“The excitement might not always come from the mailroom, but from students who come in with certain exciting news and share it with us. To work in the mailroom you need to be able to multi-task, trouble shoot and have a wonderful memory. Most importantly you need to have a good group of kids working, a good sense of humor, and be able to take a joke,” said Duzeminski.
When the holidays come, students receive many more packages, and at the start of a new semester, even more.
“One thing that is weird and creepy is when you meet someone the first time and you know their box number, but not their name. But, I like working in the mailroom. You have to make it fun. You can’t expect it to be fun you just dance to the music,” said Joe Higgins, a work study student.
With so many students on campus and so many different departments, the mail is delivered constantly – and to faculty as well. Many faculty members never see it being done.
“All the mail is delivered into the mailboxes upstairs, I don’t see it delivered, so I can’t give a real opinion on the timeliness of the mail but, as far as I know there have never been any delays,” said English Professor John Larkin.
Students who maintain the mail for the entire campus have school work, and maintain a real life work schedule while working in the mailroom. Constant deadlines, sorting of mail, and customer service are just a few tasks dealt with on a daily basis.
“They have been open every time I have had to use it. I have received packages and they have been great every time,” said freshmen Daniel Bebernitz.
Though getting the mail out every day is made simple looking by Duzeminski and her team, she stressed that the team is very important to success.
“One cog in the wheel can throw the whole flow off,” said Duzeminski.