After Amazon Center closure, RSDs are busier than ever

RSD employees described ‘too many’ Amazon packages being delivered

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After Amazon Center closure, RSDs are busier than ever

(Collegian file photo)

(Collegian file photo)

(Collegian file photo)

(Collegian file photo)

By Cassandra McGrath, Assistant News Editor

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The University of Massachusetts closed its Amazon Campus Center Pick Up Point on May 15, and as a result, Residential Service Desks on campus are busier than ever before.

The University began a partnership with eCampus and released a statement which called eCampus “one of the nation’s largest online textbook retailers,” and said the company “took over the textbook and course materials operation with its virtual bookstore” at UMass.

Students can order their textbooks through eCampus using Spire. The textbook provider offers “new, used, rental and digital materials and buy-back options.” Students may also ship their textbooks to their own address.

Despite this supplemental service, the RSDs are crowded with students. Sophomore mechanical engineering major Jaileen Baptista and senior computer major Jack McLoughlin are both employed at the RSD in Roots Café in the Commonwealth Honors College.

McLoughlin said that eCampus is making it easier “in the sense that you can find books, and they do come to a central place. But I don’t know if it’s making it easier in a sense that I personally got one this year and the line to get one was crazy long. [The line] was out the door, and that was like a week after classes started.”

Both Baptista and McLoughlin said that they are receiving “too many” packages from Amazon.

“A lot of the time the confusion comes from what just happened now. They’ll get an email from Amazon saying that it was delivered, and that just means that it gets dropped off at the post office but then it gets redistributed to us,” Baptista said. “So, a lot of students are like, ‘Where’s my package?’ just because they think it’s been delivered, but it’s not actually here.”

“Last year at the desk the first week was hectic, but that is to be expected. But this year, it was probably double the packages we had,” Baptista added.

This is McLoughlin’s third year working at the desk and Baptista’s second. Baptista was employed at the desk in John Adams Hall in the Southwest Residential Area last year and said it was much busier there.

When asked about the issue, the RSD in John Adams Hall refused to answer questions, claiming they did not have time to answer because the email for the package arrival recently went out and their line was about to be out the door.

Cameryn Cox, a junior natural resource conservation major, lives off campus but previously helped a friend who lives on campus.

“One of my friends contacted me to ask if she could have a package sent to my house due to the fact that she lives on campus and the RSD takes at least a full day or two to process the package and send email confirmations to the students,” Cox said. “It’s especially worse now that the student population has doubled in some of the buildings in Southwest.”

Cassandra McGrath can be reached at c[email protected] and followed on Twitter @c_mmcgrath.