lizabethtown College’s Mail Services hosted the 14th annual Middle Atlantic Region of College and University Mail Services (MARCUMS) Conference on Nov. 7 and 8. This was the first time the conference was held at the College.
Etown, along with 13 other colleges and universities, was represented at the conference. The conference was held in Leffler Chapel and Performance Center. The representatives met in the M&M Mars Room, and vendors were in the McCormick Gallery.
MARCUMS is comprised of colleges and universities in various states along the east coast including: Delaware, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, Washington, D.C. and the Ohio Valley.
MARCUMS believes in success through teamwork. Their conferences focus on improving collegiate mail services through networking and discussion.
Their objectives include: the advancement of professional capabilities of its members in postal management, to provide for the exchange of information relating to products, techniques and innovations in the field of educational institution mail services, to promote education for the designated members of member institutions and to provide a forum for the discussion of operating problems relating to postal management.
This day and a half event featured various speakers and vendors from mail providers. It also included a tour of the College’s postal facility, store and campus, round table discussions and a guest performance by the College’s improv group Mad Cow.
Barry Gilbert from the United States Postal Service (USPS) presented on full service intelligent mail and spoke with the representatives about the upcoming changes, specifically within the statement mailing process. Deb Spiker from United Postal Service (UPS) presented on mail innovations, specifically the new way to process flats and parcels through a joint venture of UPS and the Postal Service. Nick Alicia from the United States Postal Service spoke about his experience as a US Postal Inspector and how the USPS fights fraud. Deb Drury, a librarian from the Etown Public Library, encouraged the representatives to make work enjoyable.
Other presenters touched on topics such as handling mailing issues and developing active listening skills. Vendors that attended the conference included Pitney Bowes, a metering equipment company, Brynka and Ubiquia, both software providers for package tracking on student, faculty and staff packages, as well as UPS, QTrack and The Mail Store. At the end of the conference, the college representatives honored Dee Cohick from Dickinson College with a retirement gift for 30 years of service in the mailing industry.
Susan Darling, manager of mail services at Etown, stated that the most important piece of information she took away from the conference was understanding the process of how we get our mail and thinking of ways to enhance the system to make it more customer friendly and convenient.
Mail Services is currently looking into different delivery options for students, faculty and staff. “We have made so many changes in the last few years, and we will continue to evolve, learn and change along with our carriers. Change is a constant. We know that we have the support of our peers and that is very valuable,” Darling said.
Overall, Darling sees this conference as a learning opportunity and a chance to network with other colleges and universities. She believes it is important to have conferences such as these because it allows the attendees to share and learn from one another so that they can offer the most beneficial services to their college or university. The 15th annual MARCUMS Conference will be held at Juniata College in 2014.