Students say goodbye to “Megara” with mixed reactions

The+locker+was+installed+in+the+University+Union%2C+outside+the+Game+Room%2C+after+the+start+of+the+fall+2014+semester.+%22Megara%22+was+marketed+to+give+students+a+secure+and+simplistic+pick-up+location+for+their+purchases%2C+rather+than+shipping+them+to+dorms%2C+apartment+complexes+or+house+porches.

The locker was installed in the University Union, outside the Game Room, after the start of the fall 2014 semester. "Megara" was marketed to give students a secure and simplistic pick-up location for their purchases, rather than shipping them to dorms, apartment complexes or house porches.

Virginia McCormick

To the dismay and confusion of some students, Sacramento State’s Amazon Locker, nicknamed “Megara,” was decommissioned on Nov. 18 and removed from campus entirely on Nov. 21.

The locker was installed in the University Union, outside the Game Room, after the start of the fall 2014 semester. “Megara” was marketed to give students a secure and simplistic pick-up location for their purchases, rather than shipping them to dorms, apartment complexes or house porches.

While it didn’t come with an official announcement, a few curious students were quick to try out the service.

“My neighborhood isn’t really safe. A lot of people get their packages stolen if they’re left outside for more than a few hours,” said senior communication studies major Alexander Cross, who used the service to order an expensive piece of audio equipment.

Cross said he appreciated being able to stop by and pick up his package after getting out of his classes, knowing that it was safe inside the locker instead of waiting at his home.

“It was just good piece of mind,” said Cross. “I’m really sad that they’re taking it out now. I was planning on using it for some Christmas presents.”

Following the decommission and removal of “Megara,” students have had a variety of responses to the decision.

Those who had the chance to use the service were generally pleased with how it worked and were disappointed to see it leave, although there were criticisms that the pick-up time limit of three days was too short and the lockers were often full.

“I just put in the code [Amazon] sent me and then one of the drawers opened up and I got my book. It was really easy,” said freshman Devon Washington about the retrieval process after ordering a book for his English class.

While signage prior to the locker’s removal stated the reason for the removal was a “contract conflict”, some students suspected that a lack of traction might have been a contribution to the decision to remove the locker.

“I’m in the Union a lot during the day and I never actually saw someone use the thing,” said freshman Bailey York. “I wouldn’t be surprised if they just didn’t get as many users as they were hoping for.”

Other students were surprised to learn about the locker’s existence on campus, let alone the decision to remove it.

“I didn’t even know we had one,” said sophomore graphic design major Christopher Lawrence. “I saw it in the Union but never stopped to see what it was about. Now I wish I had gotten to try it out, [because] it sounds really useful.”

In an online discussion about Sac State’s locker, some users on the Reddit.com message board suspected the “contract conflict” cited for the removal might have come from the campus bookstore.

“It really doesn’t make sense to me,” said Lawrence. “Students aren’t going to stop buying Amazon books. They’re usually cheaper there and the locker just made it easier to pick those packages up.”

In contrast, some students agreed with the logic behind a possible bookstore involvement in the removal.

“Amazon made it easier to pick up your books or whatever else on campus without having to pay the crazy prices from the bookstore, and that’s something I could see a lot of really busy students taking advantage of,” said Cross. “I’m still not happy about the decision, but there’s nothing we can do about it now.”

For now, the space outside of the Games Room that “Megara” used to occupy is now empty and waiting for a new occupant.