Amazon to open package, technology center in Lower Sproul complex

Nicole White/Staff

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Campus students can anticipate more than new classes in the spring semester with the arrival of a new Amazon center, designed to provide a more convenient pickup location for Amazon orders and an interactive device bar.

According to a campuswide email from Joseph Greenwell — associate vice chancellor of student affairs and dean of students — students voiced their desire for “faster, easier and safer ways to (receive) their Amazon purchases” during the genesis of the Lower Sproul Redevelopment Project.

Amazon staff and the ASUC Student Union Board of Directors subsequently met two weeks ago to introduce Amazon to campus and discuss plans for center’s settlement in the newly finished Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union building, according to Joe Wilson, an undergraduate representative on the Student Union board.

“This was a popular service people identified that they would want to see, for convenience and safety,” said Claire Holmes, associate vice chancellor of communications and public affairs.

Wilson said Amazon expects the center to be operational before the start of the spring semester in January.

The center will provide student resources, including lockers for package pickup, a small technology bar where students can interact with digital media using Amazon electronic products and a sitting lounge. Additionally, the center will offer free same-day pickup for orders placed by noon and free one-day pickup for orders placed by 10 p.m. for Amazon Student and Prime members.

Designated pickup times for packages will also allow the center to accommodate a large number of students and ensure minimal waiting time during busy ordering seasons, according to Wilson.

Holmes said she believes the package lockers will reduce anxieties about “package pirates” who steal merchandise from doorsteps. Wilson agreed, adding that “the Amazon location provides a safe and simple alternative so that students have one less thing to worry about.”

Deborah Bass, an Amazon public relations representative, said in an email that Amazon was interested in providing a convenient location for virtually every product a student might need. She also commented that UC Berkeley is one of four campuses where Amazon has set up a center for this purpose.

Additionally, 2 to 3 percent of purchase proceeds will be donated to the ASUC Student Union if students opt into an online program hosted by Amazon. According to Wilson, the revenue would be directed toward student-oriented events and more than 800 student-led groups through the ASUC LEAD Center.

Wilson added that the MLK Student Union building provides a space where students can relieve academic stress and that the Amazon center will contribute to this positive environment.

“I think part of the vision of the ASUC Student Union is making undergraduate students feel more at home on campus,” Wilson said in an email. “The Amazon relationship will just add to that experience — making it more convenient for students to ship textbooks and other purchases.”

Contact Kimberly Nielsen at [email protected].