A “NEW” idea… A Campus Master Calendar!

Since 1986 I have maintained some form of Master Calendar of events at CCSU.  In the old days it was called “The Pink Sheet”.  It was a printed list of the titles of every event known to be scheduled on campus (Student Center, Memorial Hall, Founders, Torp, Welte, Sports and grounds) for the upcoming week, with a couple of highlights for major events in the following weeks.  Over the years, as the Student Center automated more and more, we could “schedule” events located in any room on campus, “if” people chose to share that information or the Student Center could drag it out of them.  In 1996, then President Judd, “mandated” (though few complied) that all events be scheduled through one system, EMS (Events Management Software).  In 1998, I implemented a “virtual calendar” which listed all the events that were “shared” or “scheduled” with the Central Reservations Office.  And in 2005, I implemented the new version of that software called… EMS – MasterCalendar, which we now know as “TODAY @ CCSU”  (http://today.ccsu.edu).

I heard that at the Senate / President Open Forum it was suggested that we “create a master calendar” which would do similar to what is currently in place!  Where is the institutional memory?  How is it possible that the university does not consider the resources it already has in place?

The problem I have in trying to manage this “MasterCalendar” is… “Garbage In, Garbage Out” (GIGO).  The value of the calendar is only as good as the value of the data it contains.  Campus constituents have attempted all forms of “virtual”, “electronic”, and “web” based calendars to solve their individual needs.  We import events scheduled through 5 different offices on campus into this calendar, some with terrible titles and horrible spelling!  We need to meet the need of the full community, not just niche factions.  That’s old school.  Ye olde technology, in the form of listserv based announcements, campus e-mail blasts, department by department web calendars should be abandoned in favor of a more Social Media, Web 2.0 student focused means of sharing and planning events… (also designed for mobile devices!) such as…  TODAY  @ CCSU (http://today.ccsu.edu/) !

If you are interested in the capability of this calendar, I would be more than happy to share its features.  I have demonstrated it for the Information Technology Committee, Student Affairs, Student Clubs, School of Business, Center for International Education, IT Tech-Talk and more.  I think it is catching on, but needs more “top-down” support.  Let me know how I can be of assistance if you agree.

W. Otis Mamed, Director, Student Center and Central Reservations Office

The college union grew out of the view held by educators, that what happens during the hours outside the classroom is a major dimension of the education students receive – vastly expanding the time, area and means through which the college educates.


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