On Oct. 2, a final decision will be made regarding the closure of the post office at 1214 S. University Ave.
Have you ever used the post office on South University?
The location was one of more than 700 post offices nationwide that were proposed to close this fall. The list is now down to approximately 410 stores, and in two weeks the remaining stores’ fates will be determined.
But Ann Arbor officials and residents are working to keep the location off the chopping block.
City leaders drafted and sent a proposal to their representatives in Washington D.C. last week, asking them to rally in support of the location.
U.S. Rep. John Dingell (D–Dearborn) responded urging the Postal Service to preserve the South University Avenue location.
“Located in the heart of the University of Michigan’s campus, this post office serves the needs of thousands of students who have limited transportation options,” Dingell said in his statement.
The Michigan Student Assembly has also expressed discontent.
The body passed a resolution, authored by Rackham Graduate School Rep. Michael Benson, President Abhishek Mahanti and Chief of Staff Ambreen Sayed, opposing the closing.
MSA will send a copy of the resolution to U.S. Sens. Carl Levin (D–Mich.) and Debbie Stabenow (D–Mich.), Dingell and the University Board of Regents, as well as USPS authorities, urging them to maintain the station in full operation.
Mahanti will also discuss the resolution at the next regents meeting.
The MSA resolution states that USPS’s other Ann Arbor locations are “unduly impractical and highly burdensome,” particularly for students without cars.
Ann Arbor City Councilman Christopher Taylor (D–Ward 3) said transportation is the prominent concern surrounding the potential closure because the majority of students who frequent the branch do not have access to cars.
“We do make a reasonable case — it’s a station that is in an essential location among persons that don’t have motorization,” he said.
The next closest post office is located at East Liberty Street and South Fifth Avenue, almost a mile away from the South University Avenue location.
“When I walked to the other one it was like 15 to 30 minutes away,” said Connie Zhou, an LSA freshman who was concerned about shipping heavy packages.
Students and local businesses expressed concern that if the store closes, shipping will be costlier and more difficult, like having to ship at FedEx for example.
Kolossos Printing, which is directly next door to the USPS location, does ship packages but usually at a higher price than the post office.
Regardless of petitions and congressional support, the decision will ultimately be made solely by the USPS.
Taylor added that, in the end, it will come down to USPS “dollars and cents.”
The post office’s recent decline in profits has been a result of a number of issues. In addition to the effects of a down economy, many people have simply stopped sending letters through the mail, opting instead for e-mail.
“Things you could do at the post office, you could do right at home at your home computer in the middle of the night even if you wanted to,” said Ed Moore, manager of communications for the Detroit district of USPS.
“Postal services across the board are looking at offices we could consolidate to make things more efficient,” he continued. “We steadily have experienced a decline in mail volume and we just have way too many facilities across the nation to sustain the number of post offices that we have.”
— Nicole Aber, Olivia Carrino and Jenna Skoller contributed to this report