Out With the Old, in With the New and Improved

By Jordan King
Dec. 05, 2017

On any given day, Kent State University hosts a vast array of events, ranging from athletic competitions, to public speaking presentations, and even activity-based charity fundraisers, to name just a few. For students, these extracurricular opportunities provide the backbone of the college experience, as so many memories are made outside of the classroom during their short time here. Yet with countless organizations and activities on campus, students can easily become overwhelmed by the number of involvement opportunities available, and consequently, they may be deterred from participating altogether.

Additionally, event listing information is quite literally all over the place, as most departments provide their own specific calendars on their online homepages. In this way, at best, students might only hear about 1/3 of what is taking place across the entire campus, effectively causing them to miss out on many of the excellent opportunities that the university provides.

And what a shame, as there are more than 400 clubs and organizations and upwards of 1,000 programs and activities on campus to align with the unique interests of our diverse student body.

That is why Systems Development and Innovation is engineering a new university-wide Events Calendar that will standardize all university event listings into one cohesive, living, breathing catalog, with the primary goal of keeping students, faculty, and staff connected and collectively up to date on the exciting events that are taking place on campus.

Currently being developed and configured within SalesForce, this new event module product will enable events to be created in one place but promoted through multiple venues (e.g. the FlashLine Portal, KSU website, various department web pages).

But perhaps what is most innovative about this product is that, for users, the new Events Calendar will be customizable, depending on preferences they can set for themselves. In addition, users will be able to filter events by category, including:

  • Academic
  • Arts and Theatre
  • Diversity and Culture
  • Service and Sustainability
  • Games Music and Movies
  • and more

This will ultimately tailor each user’s event feed to fit their own, specific interests. Moreover, the FlashPerks program, which awards students with points each time they attend a university-sponsored event, will remain a staple feature of the product.

Of course, with a standardized Events Calendar, no longer will campus organizations have to worry about connecting with people outside of the classroom, as the details of their events will be shared through one centralized platform. And for prospective students and their parents, a better sense of what to expect from our university will be offered.

But most importantly, this product will help students get the most out of their Kent State University experience.

As President Warren outlines in her core values to a distinctive Kent State, KSU aspires to be “a living-learning environment that creates a genuine sense of place.” Through implementing this exciting new feature, Systems Development and Innovation aims to work towards this goal.

Several departments on campus (Center for Student Involvement, University Communications and Marketing, Office of Admissions, the College of the Arts, and the regional campuses) are helping SDI achieve this goal by testing out a trial version of the new Events Calendar, effectively driving much of the behind the scenes decisions being made. Based on their extensive, hands-on insight, Systems Development and Innovation will then make any necessary adjustments before officially launching the product university-wide later this year.

Be sure to watch out for FlashLine notifications in the future to keep up to date on new developments in this process!