• Lillie Burke

‘I’m not dead yet!’ Why snail mail deserves one last shot

“Bring out your dead!”

It’s one of many classic lines from “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” and one that might find some relevance before long at the U.S. Postal Service.

The American institution announced Wednesday they would only deliver the mail five times a week starting in August instead of sticking with the six-day plan that’s been in place since the Civil War.

Somewhere, Ben Franklin is probably rolling in his grave.

But if Franklin was around now, he probably have tweeted something pithy and moved on. Some are arguing the American people should do the same for a service that has lost billions upon billions on an annual basis.

The reality is that post offices across the country that have long had dual roles as a crucial national post and important community center has rapidly become obsolete in a digital era where email, pokes and direct messages have taken the place of snail mail and the letters it delivered.

With this in mind, there may need to be another, on-campus conversation about a similar service. Is the time right to also discuss the fate of Belmont’s campus mail system? You know, the service where you can send mail to Belmont faculty and students for free if you place it in the right box at various points on campus.

As a senior, I’m not sure if I’ve sent a single thing through this courtesy service in my time here.

Heck, the last thing I got from Belmont mail was a Christmas card from my roommate, possibly the most enthusiastic user the on-campus mail system has.

It’s hard to imagine there are many left like him, especially with a university trying to go online quickly. Belmont does as much as it can digitally, from emailing pay stubs to letting students pay tuition and file graduation applications through the service formerly known as BIC. With the new myBelmont system, the school is trying to make it even easier for students to stay online to get their university business done.

Despite this digital push, it may a little early to deem campus mail dead. But then again, campus mail is fairly irrelevant, just like its national counterpart. The time may be drawing near for Belmont to follow the Post Office’s suit and limit services.

And just like in the classic Monty Python film, it may soon be time for Uncle Sam to cut its losses and throw the Postal Service onto the heap to meet its inevitable fate.

But today is not that day.

For now, the post office should be applauded for fighting Congress to try to stay alive. They should be allowed to fight another day (or five) and get a chance to get their financial house in order with little Congressional oversight. They may be on their last legs, but the former national institution should have every chance possible to ward off death for as long as possible.

And as long as the post office can stay alive, Belmont should do what it needs to make sure its campus mail keeps going as well.

For now, the on-campus service is not dead yet. But it may certainly be close.

Vision editor Brian Wilson is a senior journalism major.

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