It will doubtless surprise some members of the University who have obtained their mail regularly ever since they have been here, to be told that a condition of affairs exists at present in the Cambridge post office which is highly discreditable to the community, and which it would perhaps be possible for members of the University to remedy. Yet such is not far from being the case. A number of persons, among whom are several members of the Faculty, have had occasion to look into the matter and have found that the accommodations for the employes of the post office and for the handling of mail matter are utterly inadequate,- in some respects shamefully so.
Though at first sight this matter would seem outside of the concerns of members of the University, yet is must be acknowledged that as patrons of the post office, they have at any rate an interest in the efficiency of the postal service equal to that of other Cambridge residents. Beyond this, the University office, the numberous University organizations and the college papers make large demands upon the post office. It is for these considerations that the CRIMSON has decided to start a petition among members of the University and it has been given reason to believe that an appeal to the Postmaster General strongly endorsed would be likely to carry considerable weight.
Before noon today, blue-books will be placed at Leavitt and Peirce's, at Memorial Hall and at the Foxcroft Club. Each book will contain the subjoined statement, followed by the petition.
Statement of the Case.The accompanying petition is submitted to the attention of officers and students of the University. Forming as they do, a large group of the patrons of the Cambridge Post Office, they cannot but be directly interested in the efficiency of the postal service here; and their influence with the authorities in the prosecution of needed improvements in this office should therefore be considerable.
The facilities of the Cambridge Post Office are at present shamefully defiicient; for the quarters now held by the Government, though cramped and insufficient for years, have not been improved or enlarged to an extent which has in any way met the needs of a rapidly increasing business.
The needs of the Post Office can plainly be seen in the following statements, the truth of which any person may ascertain for himself.
1. There is a serious lack of space for delivery windows. On Sunday morning as many as twelve hundred persons call for mail and there is a constant line of people waiting to be served. There is so little space that persons waiting at the window used for the delivery of letters and sale of stamps, cannot help being in the way of those who wish to mail letters or to go to the lock-boxes, and vice versa.
2. The lack of room for handling the large and constantly increasing amount of mail matter is very seriously felt; and temporary make-shifts have to be resorted to which are far from meeting the needs of the office.
3. A lack of sufficient clerical force necessitates the constant overwork of the clerks now employed.
4. The sanitary accommodations are badly deficient.
5. The rule forbidding carriers to remain in the office beyond the time required for arranging the letters for their routes, forces those who have not time to go home, either out upon the street, or into the cellar, which is always damp and ill-ventilated and the floor of which is in rainy weather actually covered with water.
6. The lease of the quarters at present occupied expired a year ago and the Government is now a tenant at will. The lessor stands ready to enlarge the office by the addition of an adjoining store, and to make extended improvements in heating and lighting if he can have any assurance that the premises will be leased for a term of years.