BY ERIKA PRITCHARD
KEARNEY – The Nebraskan Student Union now serves as a centralized location for student-residents to pick up packages delivered through mailing services.
UNK’s Office of Residence Life purchased 113 smart lockers of various sizes from Parcel Pending in Irvine, California, and had them installed in the hallway east of the Student Engagement offices. Students living in nine of the 10 residence halls on campus have been utilizing the lockers since September. UNK branding was added in December.
Matt Allbright, assistant director of operations in Residence Life, said students and delivery drivers benefit from the new location.
Before the change, packages were delivered to the front desks of Mantor, Randall, Centennial Towers East and West, Men’s Hall, Antelope, Nester and University Residence North and South. Students were notified by email or text message from UNK that their package was ready to pick up at the front desk.
Village Flats residents have access to parcel lockers, so they weren’t part of the switchover.
Without access to a locker system, Allbright said, students could only pick up their packages during the residence halls’ front desk hours. However, they can access the union 24/7 using their UNK IDs.
“This created an opportunity for students to pick up packages at any time,” Allbright said. “If they have a late-night class or if they want to come over early in the morning when they get breakfast, the opportunity is there for them to pick up packages.”
Delivering to the lockers is also more convenient for UPS, FedEx and U.S. Postal Service drivers.
“There are narrow pathways around some of the buildings and construction makes it more difficult for them to easily get to residence halls with their vehicles,” Allbright said. “This allows them to drop off everything in one location and not have to deal with all the ins and outs of the campus roads.”
Students continue to receive emails and text messages when their packages arrive. Those messages include a bar or six-digit code they can scan or enter at the smart locker kiosk to unlock the appropriate locker.
Midwest Connect in Kearney is contracted to repair and maintain the lockers.