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  August 30, 2004

University-Wide Events Calendar
Now Online, Easy To Use

The web-based University Events Calendar is now officially on-line, and Wayne Roberts is happy about it.

A screenshot of the University Events Calendar

From his desk in the Greer Field House earlier this month, Roberts began entering the dates, times, and places students, faculty, and staff should know so they can register for various intramural and recreational activities.

Before long, Roberts, customer service representative for recreational services in the Division of Athletics, had entered more than three-dozen events on the calendar, accessible to anyone anywhere with a computer, and as easy to enter items into as it is to read.

The Events Calendar can be accessed via the Internet at, or at the University's homepage:

"I'm telling everyone who comes in to check the calendar," Roberts says. "Most students stop in to check the flyers, or keep calling to find out when different intramurals start.

Now, they won't even have to leave their rooms."

Roberts says the Events Calendar is a dream. He isn't alone.

"It's a terrific idea," said Catherine Kalonia, director of marketing for the Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts. "It's another tool we can use to let people across the state know about the huge range of events we offer here."

There have been a number of attempts over the years to create a University-wide calendar, but all came up short, not for lack of interest or effort, says Meg Malmborg, manager of the Lodewick Visitors Center and the calendar's administrator, but because the technology UConn needed hadn't been found and there wasn't a single office or group positioned to make it happen.

Then the software WebEvent was identified during a search of other universities' systems, and University Communications brought together representatives from areas across the University to plan the calendar. Web experts in the communications office worked to expand and adapt the software's capabilities, so the calendar would include events occurring on all UConn campuses. And more than 40 people across the University were designated as editors for different sections of the calendar, ensuring that submissions will be cleared and posted within 72 hours.

The editors, says Malmborg, will receive and review submissions for their areas, and will ensure each one's accuracy, appropriateness, and whether it meets the criterion of being a UConn-related event. They also will check the entry for typographical errors. If an entry doesn't fit the section to which it was submitted or doesn't meet the criterion for inclusion in the calendar, the person submitting it will be informed.

"The Events Calendar is a comprehensive and efficient way of promoting the vibrant and enriching array of activities occurring throughout the University," says Scott Brohinsky, director of university relations. "It also provides members of the UConn community access to information about where and when events are occurring."

The objective is to make it as easy as possible both to submit an event and to access the Events Calendar to find activities of interest, he says.

"It is convenient one-stop event shopping," says Jim Walter, associate vice president for communications at the Health Center. "It is a welcome addition for the entire University."

The Advance will continue to publish a weekly calendar in each issue. After an initial phase-in period during September, however, the Advance will no longer accept calendar items direct, but will download items from the new calendar database.

To submit an item to the electronic Events Calendar, users fill out an online form and then submit it directly into a dozen or more topical calendars, covering specific areas such as arts and entertainment, athletic events, health, lectures, and conferences. Editors will review the submissions promptly, before posting them to the calendar. To submit an event, it need only be held at a UConn location and/or be a UConn-sponsored activity.

Users - on or off-campus - may subscribe to specific calendars of interest, and they will automatically receive e-mail notification when an event is added to that calendar.

"It's a great feature, because you won't have to go into a particular calendar every day to see what events have been added," says Malmborg.

Events may be entered up to three years in advance.

"That will be valuable to anyone planning an event because you can check to see if other events are already scheduled on that day," Malmborg says. "It should help to avoid conflicts."

Users may search the calendar by day, week, or month, as well as choose specific campuses or topics. The default is set at All Events and All Locations, to display all events at all UConn campuses or locations. Clicking on a particular event title reveals a description of that event, and provides a link to the sponsor's web page.

If you have questions, call Malmborg at the Lodewick Visitors Center: 860.486.6635.