Beginning next semester, Georgetown may consolidate its network of on-campus mail services into a single, centralized Residence Hall Office office located in the Leavey Center. The potential reconfiguration, proposed as an arm of the 2017-2037 Campus Plan, stands as a model of both inefficiency and discrimination.
While a downsizing of the current RHO structure would cut university costs, the financial benefits of such an arrangement may be outweighed by logistical drawbacks. Namely, a merger of the current six RHO branches into a single, centralized office would promise long waits and slack service during peak delivery seasons, such as the textbook-buying periods at the beginning of each semester. Such inefficiencies would only be compounded by the office’s proposed placement in the Leavey Center, a building that already houses over 30 businesses, student groups and administrative offices.
Closing all current RHO locations would, moreover, present a significant obstacle for physically disabled students. For example, a student living in LXR would find that what was once a short trip to his dorm lobby to pick up a package has become a cross-campus trek that comes with physical and time constraints.
In light of these concerns, this editorial board advocates either the rejection of the RHO consolidation proposal or, alternatively, the inclusion of a delivery system proviso in the new campus plan. This proviso would stipulate that the university launch a student-staffed dorm room delivery service from its centralized RHO, thereby minimizing wait time during bottleneck purchasing periods, eliminating the strains placed on physically disabled students and, crucially, preserving student jobs.
While such an option may not be the most financially sound course of action, it nevertheless reflects a commitment to student comfort, convenience and financial stability — all principles for which Georgetown’s administrators ought to strive.