USPS stops sorting mail at student housing apartments

US Post Office. Photo courtesy of Kiara Cain

The United States Postal Services have stopped individually sorting mail for many of the student housing apartments.

Residents of The Social 2700 noticed the change earlier this year when the frequency in which they received mail changed. Some say they went from getting mail every other day to maybe once a week, if that.

No one really knew why the change had occurred until the leasing office sent out an email stating that all mail is to be picked up from the office rather than the mailboxes.

This was frustrating for residents to deal with due to many of them being in school or working during the day. By the time many students receive free time to retrieve their mail, the office is closed with their mail and packages locked inside.

Yasmin Smith has lived at the Social 2700 for two years and said she never had a problem with receiving her mail up until now.

“Having mailboxes is what makes getting mail convenient for us. We shouldn’t have to jump through hoops to retrieve what is ours. Sometimes, my mail is never even found in the office at all,” said Smith.

The full-time student works long hours, usually getting off around 10:00 p.m. Due to Smith’s busy schedule, being able to pick up her mail is close to impossible.

Several residents have also experienced complete loss of mail. Since everything is sorted through the leasing office, it becomes easier for things to be misplaced. Leasing office associates say they try their best to sort the mail efficiently and place them into the mailboxes themselves.

“We do our best to upkeep mail and place them in the mailboxes in a timely manner,” said Shonese Walker, a leasing office associate at the student complex.

USPS mail carrier, Alexander Andrews, said there are several reasons why the USPS stopped sorting the mail.

For starters, the amount of fraud and money scams during the pandemic increased significantly. Individuals would have other people’s mail — including pandemic checks, government assistance, and personal information — delivered to their homes. This occurred throughout student housing, as well.

In an attempt to decrease the amount of fraudulent activity, USPS stopped delivering mail to complexes whose contract did not require individual sorting by the company. Mail carriers prefer to have the mail sorted by the associates at the office since they have resources to identify who lives in which apartment and who the mail is going to.

“We trust the integrity of the associates and that they will return any mail that doesn’t belong to the individuals that live there,” said Andrews. “Right now, missing mail isn’t being accounted for and someone has to be held responsible.”

Walker, an office associate at The Social 2700, said USPS stopped sorting mail for the complex in February, leaving the workload for them to do in the office. She described it as a tedious process, which is extremely time-consuming.

“If residents are experiencing any mail loss, it is happening between transit from the post office to the leasing office, not by leasing office associates,” Walker said.

Setting up a post office (P.O.) box has been a solution many residents turn to when problems like this occur. To learn how to set one up, visit