By Christine Verges

Arizona Summer Wildcat

Postal services on the UA campus went out as easily as the month of June.

According to Mike Low, interim director of the Student Union, the decision to close the Student Union Post Office (SUPO) as of July 1 was purely financial, made over two years ago under fiscal constraints.

As the post office was phased out, students living on campus received their mail through their residence halls for the first time during the 1993-94 academic year.

And although the absence of residence-hall SUPO box holders freed up space for more rentals, there were still many empty SUPO boxes which could not cover the operational expenses of the post office itself.

During its peak of operation, Low said, the post office was staffed by one full-time supervisor, three full-time employees and five to seven student employees in order to handle the large volume of incoming and outgoing mail.

But at the same time that financial demands on the post office increased, total revenue generated by the Student Union decreased, making it more and more difficult for the Union to support postal services.

"We were subsidizing it to the tune of $80,000," Low said. "We got into the position where the university said you have to cut costs and we looked at the post office."

Low said the decision to end postal services may have a direct impact on businesses in the Union.

"The reason we opened the (post office) to begin with was because we considered it a good traffic-builder," Low said. "It was a good business decision. Chances are, students headed to pick up their mail and would stop to buy a Coke."

Without the post office, Low explained, those same students may not be so inclined to pass through the Union on a daily basis.

"If I knew three years ago what I know today, I would have fought tooth and nails never to change the post office," Low said. "But you deal with situations the best you can when they arise. When the pressure comes on you to reduce expenses, do you reduce the areas that produce profits for you, or do you look at the areas that cause expense?"

The Sun Station, 2100 E. Speedway Blvd., is a full-service post office. Post-office box rentals are figured in six-month increments for up to one year, and range in price from $17.50 to $150, depending on the size of the box desired.

Sun Station is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday for package pick-up only. Their box lobby is open 24 hours.

The College Station, located at 913 E. University Blvd., rents small, medium and large mailboxes on a six-month basis for $17.50, $24.50 and $46.50, respectively.

Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, the College Station will mail domestic mail and international mail up to two ounces.

For information, call Sun Station at 881-1096 or the College Station at 882-8303. Read Next Article