Now in a new building, traditional post office tabling returns

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

As temperatures continue to drop, student groups can now escape the cold of the Main Green by tabling indoors, in the University Post Office in the J. Walter Wilson building. Starting Monday, the Student Activities Office made slots available for tabling in the post office for the first time this year.

In past years, student groups tabled in the post office in Faunce House. Though construction on J. Walter Wilson is still ongoing, both Mezcla and the African Students Association set up tables to sell tickets for events this weekend.

“I would definitely say that the (J. Walter Wilson) lobby is more heavily trafficked than the Faunce mailroom, because of the office and seminar room traffic,” Director of Student Activities Ricky Gresh wrote in an e-mail to The Herald. “Also, being at the corner of Waterman and Brown (Streets) and given the high transparency of the lobby area, tabling (there) is a significant improvement over the previous location in Faunce.”

But the set-up in Faunce was more convenient for student groups because the old post office was in the same building as the SAO, said Jonathon Acosta ’11, who tabled yesterday for Mezcla and has tabled in the Faunce post office. Acosta and Gresh both said tabling in J. Walter Wilson will have advantages over the Main Green, especially in the coming months.

“I feel like more people walk in the Main Green, but it’s colder and it’s harder to get their attention,” Acosta said. “So here you catch people where it’s a little quieter. Almost everybody checks their mail during peak hours.”

The SAO had hoped to make table slots in J. Walter Wilson available by Nov. 1, but was delayed due to the construction, Gresh wrote.

The move to J. Walter Wilson comes along with added security protocols after a student group tabling in the Faunce post office was robbed last year. Student groups are now required to make deposits to the SAO at the end of each day to decrease the amount of cash accumulating in the cash box. Also, students planning to collect over $500 in cash must tell the SAO so that the Department of Public Safety can be notified, according to the SAO Web site.

Additionally, “Brown Student Agencies has begun launching e-commerce, so groups can now set up sites to do credit card sales at tables through wireless connection instead of relying on cash,” Gresh wrote.

Katharine Joo ’09, who has tabled on the Main Green for the Asian American Students Association twice this semester, said that despite these precautions, preventing theft is the responsibility of the group handling money and no one location is safer than another.

“I think it really depends on whether you have someone guarding the table at all times,” she said. “I don’t think it’s contingent upon whether you’re inside or outside.”

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