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April 1, 2004 • Volume 12 Number 14

University Calendar Seen As Boon for Event Planning

New Web tool offers 'one-stop shopping' for organizers and users

By Stephen Gawlik
Staff Writer
Boston College has unveiled a new Web-based calendar system that administrators say offers a single resource for the planning and promotion of all public events on campus.

The University Event Calendar provides "one-stop shopping" for anyone interested in finding out details of public events, such as time, location and contact information, at BC.

"The system has been developed to present and promote events at BC in a way that is simple to navigate and easy to read," said Office of Marketing Communications Deputy Director Hallie Sammartino.

On most any night during the academic year, say administrators, the campus is host to sporting events, Church in the 21st Century lectures, seminars, concerts, meetings and other events. A shared calendar accessible via the Internet will make the planning and management of those events more efficient.

"Users, and event organizers, will be able to know instantly all the things that are happening on campus at any given time," Sammartino said.

Users log on to the University's home page and click on the "BC Event Calendar" link, which will bring them to an attractive, user-friendly interface. Listings comprise those events that are sanctioned by the University, including student organizations and clubs, and that are open to the University community and the general public.

The content of the first University Event Calendar page includes events planned for that week, along with the times, locations and relevant links to Web pages containing more information. Those users looking for a specific event or type of event can utilize one of the Calendar's many search functions that offer the ability to browse based on several criteria. Events are organized in 16 different categories such as "Seminars," "Lectures & Readings," "Film" or "Music."

Calendar administrators say BC departments, administrative units and offices can - and as part of a pilot program, several already do - maintain individual calendars within the overall system, thereby enabling users to search for events sponsored by only those specific departments or organizations.

Later in the spring, all departments and offices will have the option of participating in the University Calendar system, with a target date of June 1 for implementation.

Departments and offices may continue to manage public events calendars on their own Web sites, University Event Calendar administrators say, but these will not necessarily be accessible via the University Calendar. Nor will the University Calendar include departmental event listings unless these have been submitted to the system.

The University Calendar is a product of WebEvent Inc. and has been developed through a partnership between Information Technology Services and the Office of Marketing Communications.

The Office of Marketing Communications is serving as the University Event Calendar administrator. Part of that responsibility will include approving the calendar's postings to make sure all of the relevant information is present. Departmental and office representatives can take a short training session on using the calendar systems, said Sammartino.

While departments and offices are not required to participate in the University Calendar system, Sammartino predicts the interest will be widespread.

"After only one week in the public's eye, the calendar system has been very well-received," said Sammartino. "We have had numerous requests to set up departmental calendars and gotten some very positive feedback from students, staff, and alumni. I think we are on the way to creating a campus-wide calendar that truly reflects the range of activity that Boston College has to offer to both those on campus and those in the local community."

To create a calendar within the new University Calendar system, e-mail university.calendar@bc.edu and forward department name, the name of the calendar administrator, and the administrator's contact information.

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