Random anonymous packages containing items ranging from sex toys to cellphone accessories have been arriving at Canadian university student unions — including at Trent University in Peterborough.
The packages, shipped in boxes via online store Amazon, have been arriving at the Trent Central Student Association (TSCA) for several months.
“It’s almost like Christmas Day where you’re just waiting to see what you get as a present,” said Molly Hu, TCSA’s vice-president of clubs and external affairs.
Brandon Remmelags, TSCA president, says no one at Trent knows who is sending the packages or why. Similar packages have been shipped to universities across Canada, including Ryerson University in Toronto, the University of Regina, Dalhousie in Halifax, N.S., and St. Francis Xavier in Antigonish, N.S., with gifts inside such as computer cables, a record player and even a first-aid kit.
“We also get some, a little bit more unusual things, like essential oil diffusers, and dog toys,” he said. “My roomates’ pug absolutely loves those, and we’ve gotten some more questionable items.”
The “questionable” includes an array of sex toys. However, Remmelgas says the packages are far from offensive and the student union looks forward to getting them.
“So we kind of like have a party in the office, and we say, ‘Who wants to open it? What do you think it’s going to be?'” he said.
The electronic commerce giant has recently told several student unions, including Ryerson’s, that it can’t reveal the identity of a sender due to privacy policies. The packages can’t be returned unless the student union is the original purchaser.
“At first, I thought it was perhaps a resident, an on-campus student, that perhaps had gotten their address confused with the TCSA’s,” said Hu.
The TSCA says it always finds a use for the gifts and often shares a laugh when opening those mysterious brown boxes.
“Thank you for sending us all of these amazing things,” Hu said. “We end up having gifts to give to students and also things that people might need.”
On Wednesday afternoon, an Amazon spokesperson released the following statement.
“We are investigating inquiries from consumers who have received unsolicited packages as this would violate our policies. We have confirmed the sellers involved did not receive names or shipping addresses from Amazon. We remove sellers in violation of our policies, withhold payments, and work with law enforcement to take appropriate action.”