When a student wants to figure out what is happening on campus at any time, it is often a complicated and incomplete pro- cess. There is a weekly “On the Horizon” newsletter sent out by Campus Life that highlights some student organization events, Rec center events and classes, and information that they have had submitted to them for inclusion in the newsletter.
There are daily emails from various offices, academic departments and other areas of student life highlighting academic-re- lated club meetings, department-hosted guest speakers and professional development opportunities.
There are weekly emails from the career center’s platform, Handshake, which cover networking and professional development opportunities.
For finding out weekly “fun” events, students typically turn to the dozens of Instagram pages including the Activities Programming Board (APB), Multicultural Student Affairs (MSA), SU athletics and Ship Recreation, among many others.
Almost every club, sports team, club sport, performing arts group and organization has their own Instagram page, among other social media platforms. Groups plaster posters across campus on bulletin boards, in stairwells and on the walls of residence halls. This fractured system has worked decently enough for years; however, it makes it challenging to gain an understanding of everything happening on campus at one time for a student or faculty member.
The university does maintain a “Master Calendar” on its website that has been recently modernized. This calendar has existed for years and most university departments do place events on it. When “spot-checking” events promoted else- where, the calendar was extremely accurate with only a few minor events missing.
The one caveat is that student organization events are rarely included on the calendar.
According to Megan Silverstrim, director of Communications and Marketing, “The success of campus events is dependent upon the willingness of campus groups and organizations to follow the practices outlined for event planning on the website and includes entering complete information into the calendar.”
The master calendar is a great tool that is very underutilized by both student organizations (to document and highlight their event) but also in terms of informing students. The calendar is rarely known when talking with student leaders about its existence. Students and many faculty and staff members do not know that this centralized calendar exists.
The university’s office of Communications and Marketing, student government and other entities involved in event planning should promote its usage and the availability of event information to all of campus. The process of finding out on-campus event information might be- come less of a headache and more user friendly.
The centralization of all the various pro- motion methods into a centralized master calendar would help make planning of student activities much easier and would result in less overlapping events and hope- fully better attendance. The infrastructure already exists, groups and departments just need to use the calendar.
Give it a thought — how different might campus planning look if the master calendar was used and promoted?