Slippery Rock unveils new University events calendar
July 27, 2015
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - One of the many unique features that have been introduced on Slippery Rock University's redesigned website is a new University events calendar that has replaced the former SRU PeopleCube calendar.
The new calendar, which is currently active, includes numerous upgrades over the previous calendar including being mobile friendly/responsively designed, having an enhanced search function, a reconfigured categorization system and color coding by event type.
"Two other new things that you can do that are pretty cool is having the ability to share calendar items via social media channels and through email," said Darcy White, SRU's director of Web communications and architect behind the new events calendar. "Each event is actually a page within our Web system. People can now add individual events to their calendar assuming they have a mail client configured on their computer or smartphone."
While the calendar is built to list all events going on around campus it's not meant to list things such as reserving rooms or private organizational meetings.
"It's not a master calendar," said White. "It's not meant for room reservations or anything like that, the school already has a calendar for that in Ad Astra. It's really just meant for public events on campus."
Events are broken down into 12 categories on the calendar: admissions; alumni/fundraising; athletics; community service/volunteerism; conferences/lectures/training; film, fine and performing arts; meetings; recreation/wellness; research/grants; social activities and University business.
The process of submitting a calendar event is very intuitive, White said. Users simply go to www.sru.edu/event-submission then fill out the corresponding fields. After reviewing the information for accuracy and submitting the request the user will receive a confirmation/thank you page confirming the submission and displaying additional information.
"Another great change with the new calendar is that submissions will now be approved at the division level. This should allow various areas to have better control of their event approval process. They will be able to approve items within their areas designated timetable," White said.
"We've gone from having just one central person approving items for publishing to 8 people, that should improve the process," White said. Calendar approval authorizers will be:
- Academic Affairs - Mary Hennessey
- Student Affairs - Claudia Fischer
- College of Business - Larry McCarthy
- College of Education - James Preston
- College of Health, Environment and Science - Patty Pierce
- College of Liberal Arts - Jennifer Keller
- Executive Division/Athletics - Laura Vernon
- Finance, Administrative and Advancement - Tina Proper
Items from the events calendar will be included in SRU's daily Top of the Rock communication, which is facilitated by an export tool. "What this means is that in order to have your event be included in Top of the Rock, it must be on the calendar. Because events are now a Web page that means they will also show up in external Internet searches. Everyone should submit their events well in advance of the actual day it is scheduled to enjoy the new search engine optimization." White said.
White said he and his staff have transitioned many prior calendar items that were already scheduled on PeopleCube to the new calendar to avoid making people resubmit items. "Events from this year have been implemented into the new system to help facilitate the transition into the new calendar. Events on the previous calendar for spring 2016 will be transitioned throughout this semester" White said.
The calendar operates off of the content management system Slippery Rock uses, Ingeniux CMS 9, and was developed in conjunction with BarkleyREI, a digital marketing agency located in Pittsburgh. The entire process of creating a new events calendar has been tedious; White estimated that the calendar took nearly five months to complete. However, the added features and the cost savings compared to similar calendars on the market made all of the time worth it for White and SRU.
"We created the calendar in combination with Barkley REI," said White. "The item is a plugin within our Ingeniux system. We didn't go out and spend $5,000 a year on a calendar like a lot of universities do."
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