You have no mail: CEV dispute could leave students without mail service

Story by Sabra Jackson, Staff writer 

A dispute between management at Campus Evolution Villages and the United States Postal Service could leave Murray State students without mail delivery services.

Residents at both the Murray and Murray South locations of CEV received an email Oct. 30 saying the locks on the mailboxes were being taken off. USPS distributed each resident’s mail in their individual mailbox. Now, the USPS is wanting CEV employees to distribute to their residents.

According to the email, the locks were to be pulled from the mailboxes on Nov. 4. However, a subsequent email was sent to residents on Nov. 3 informing them that the mail would continue, for now.

“After speaking with the USPS, the mail will continue to run its current mode of delivery and there will be no current interruption of service,” according to the email.

Employees of CEV said the new date set for dissolving the mail delivery system is Jan. 2, 2018.

“In the coming months the service will change under USPS guidelines if this transition in mail service is mandated,” according to the email. “We will work on a transition so the impact on residents will be minimized.”

The email, sent by Rakeshia Burks, area general manager of CEV, said the circumstances were “beyond our control.”

However, Burks would not comment further on the matter.

Courtney Franklin, junior from Paris, Kentucky, is a resident of CEV. She said she went into the CEV office to ask what would happen to the mail and the ladies in the office stated, “They’re pursuing a lawsuit.” They did not provide Franklin with any other details.

She asked if she would be advised to get a P.O. box. An office worker said the post office charges $45 every six months for a P.O. box, and CEV would not be footing the cost.

“So basically, if we need regular mail sent to us that’s not through Fedex or UPS, then we are out of luck,” Franklin said.

Franklin said the post office was trying to classify CEV as a dorm facility.

“Another resident told me she called the post office and they gave her their side of the situation,” Franklin said.

Susan Wright, spokesperson for the United States Postal Service in the Kentuckiana district, said that the postal service will be a one-drop to the management office of the CEV Murray and Murray South. One-drop means that all mail will be dropped off at the management office for management to sort out.

“At that time, it is up to the management for the complex of how that is handled,” Wright said. “We were informed that the manager may refuse that mail. We would never return mail to sender without specific instructions.”

Wright said the mail would go back to the post office if the mail was refused.

“We do not want to return the mail,” Wright said. “We have been told that is what the apartment may do.”

Wright said CEV and the USPS have been in conversation since mid-September and knew this would be going into effect.

CEV falls under the policy for dormitories, residential housing and student housing, the same as the residential colleges at Murray State.

The USPS postal operations manual defines a dormitory building or residence hall as consisting of “single or multi-room units that may share or have access to centrally located kitchens, bathrooms, showers or social or common areas.” It does not matter whether the structure is located on or off campus, nor if it owns by a university or private owner.

“Either the school or building owner is responsible for the final delivery of student mail,” according to USPS POM. “Post office personnel do not distribute mail into apartment-type mailboxes for dormitories or residence halls.”

A manager at Station 74 apartment complex said they too are considered a dormitory, requiring them to sort the mail into the individual mailboxes of residents.

Wright said the postal service has a financial responsibility to get the route done in the most efficient way possible.

Making CEV a one-drop service will save the USPS money because it will no longer have to pay postal service employees to distribute mail at both locations.