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Make a note: new U-numbers
are here to stay
March 1, 1999

If you weren't sure what to do with those new u-number listings that recently arrived in your mailbox and threw them away, it's time to search for them in the recycling bins - the four-digit u-numbers are here to stay.

Administrators at University Mail Services are restructuring the u-number system to make the on-campus sorting process easier and to assimilate the post office's use of the u-number with interdepartmental use of u-numbers.

Nancy Popeleski-Smith, director of mail services, says that since the 1980s, the University's address has included a four-digit number after the zip code, and now the equipment used by the U.S. Postal Service has the ability to read the number.

Postal service mail is routed through University Mail Services for delivery on campus, and since the post office sorts by the four-digit number as well as the street address, the internal mail and mail sent to the Storrs campus from other campuses via courier should use it as well, she says. "We need to merge the internal sorting scheme to be consistent with the post office."

The four-digit number used by the postal service for mail on the Storrs campus, a combination of the u-number and the delivery route number, is now the new u-number. There are 237 u-numbers on campus. The new number is the old number preceded by its "route" number. The u-number 144 will now read 4144, because mail to that u-box is delivered on route 4, U-53 will now read U-3053 to indicate that the mail will go on route 3.

Administrators at Mail Services have divided the campus into five "routes" or sections, roughly divided from south to north. Mail going to u-numbers within the same area is collected and distributed along a particular route. For example, any mail addressed to u-numbers on the south side of campus will go to route one. Any u-mail going to the Wilbur Cross Building will go on route four. Route five is the Depot Campus.

The routes on campus are nothing new to employees at Mail Services. "These routes were established long before my time," says Popeleski-Smith. "And I've been at Mail Services for about 20 years."

The four digit u-number will make the sorting process easier for mail services employees and is expected to speed up the delivery of some mail. Currently employees sort the mail numerically according to u-number and then collect the mail according to its route number for delivery. The four-digit u-number will allow them to sort the mail directly according to its route number, "eliminating two steps in the current sorting process, creating additional time to sort more mail that would normally be left for the following day," says Popeleski-Smith.

Administrators at Mail Services will allow up to a year for the UConn community to become familiar with using the four-digit numbers for internal circulation. After this time, mail addressed to the old u-number will be sorted last. For a listing of the four digit u-numbers, call Mail Services at (860) 486-2024 for a copy.

Kirstyn Lazur