Mail Policies and Guidelines

Automation/Address Guidelines

The US Postal Service is increasingly relying on sophisticated electronic equipment to route mail to its destination. Optical Character Readers (OCRs) which scan the address portion of the envelope have replaced older, manual sorting methods. The Postal Service has published guidelines for the proper way of addressing mailings to ensure that the new equipment can correctly scan and route the envelope. Following these guidelines will help your mailings reach their destinations as quickly as possible. See USPS automation guidelines.

Handwritten Addresses

If an address is machine readable for optical scanning, the barcoding is done automatically by the scanning machine. Therefore, we encourage the University Community to stop handwriting addresses. Envelopes should be typed or machine printed. Addresses which are written by hand will now be delayed a day in processing, because they cannot be optically scanned and the barcoding will need to be manually applied to the envelope.

Incoming Mail

Mail addressed to a person with an address of Syracuse University which does not include a department name shall not be given directory service. Such mail will be refused and returned to the Postal Service with a notation “Undeliverable as addressed – Department name required”.

Mail Over Thirteen Ounces

Stamped mail weighing 13 ounces and over, whether it is domestic or international will have to be presented in person at the U.S. Post Office. International and military APO/FPO mail weighing 13 ounces and over will need the contents written on the package, so that The University’s Mail Services Department can apply the proper customs form.

Mail Preparation

It is the responsibility of each department to separate campus mail from outgoing mail that requires metering. If stamped mail is processed in the department, it should also be separated from other types of mail. Foreign mail and mail requiring special services such as registering, certification, special delivery, etc., should be clipped or banded, and plainly marked with requirements.

Mail to Residence Halls

During the Fall and Spring semesters, residence hall mail will be picked up from Academic and Administrative offices by Mail Services’ personnel as part of their scheduled daily routes. Campus mail deliveries to the residence halls will be made on Tuesdays and Fridays. Considering there are only two campus mail delivery days, please time your mailings accordingly. At the residence halls, Office of Residence Life staff will distribute the mail to the individual mail boxes. Outgoing mail will not be picked up at the residence halls.  Click here for residence hall addresses.

Please adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Each envelope must be clearly marked “CAMPUS MAIL” in the lower left corner (unless banded or boxed as required in 3 below.) If these pieces are not identified, they will be metered and sent through the United States Mail.
  • Every piece must be addressed with the student’s full name, room or box number, and residence hall. Street address, city, state and zip code are optional.
  • For major mailings (approximately 100 pieces or more) the mail for a given residence hall must be banded or boxed. The destination of each bundle must be clearly identified using a 3″ x 5″ card with “CAMPUS MAIL” and the name of the residence hall on it.

New Employee Mail

Mail received prior to the starting date of employment of any new faculty or staff member should be held by that person’s department. Upon arrival, new employees should check with their departmental office to see if mail is being held on their behalf.

Odd-Shaped Items

Pens, bottle caps, pins, and similar odd-shaped items are not acceptable in letter-size envelopes at the single-piece first-, third-, or fourth-class rate. Please use a jiffy bag or a small box anytime you send odd shaped items through the mail.

Paychecks via Campus Mail

All checks will be directed to the address printed on the check. Any address change is an individual’s responsibility and must be changed with the Payroll Department. If for any reason the department receives paychecks for employees not on the departmental payroll, notify the Payroll Department immediately.

Personal Mail

Mail submitted for postage to the Mail Services that does not show a return address or has a personal address for the return is considered personal mail. This type of mail is not eligible for University metering and is sent to the Post Office without University-paid postage.

Requisitions for Postal Charges

Mail Services requests that academic and administrative offices using Mail Services submit an interdepartmental order. Departments that do not have a standing interdepartmental order on file with Mail Services must submit an individual interdepartmental order with each mailing. Please submit a sample envelope with your standing interdepartmental order.

Undeliverable Mail

All mail is sorted to the department noted on the address. Departments are responsible for noting on undeliverable mail the forwarding address of a transferred or departed employee.