Op-Ed: Events Calendar


Duncan Sligh

An example of an RSS feed error on the Events Calendar

Georgia Southern’s Events Calendar is struggling to represent the Armstrong Campus, and there is not an obvious way to fix it.

Here at The George-Anne Inkwell, it’s important for us to stay up to date with what’s going on campus. We make every effort to be aware of campus events, activities and other items that may be newsworthy or worth covering in an effort to give voice and visibility to as many members of Georgia Southern as possible.

With this in mind, there’s an assumption that the Georgia Southern Events Calendar would be an invaluable resource for us, as it should be the cross-campus hub for every relevant thing going on, full of information for students, faculty and friends alike to be aware of.

That is not how the calendar is, in its current state. Upon looking at the calendar now, there seem to be two major issues: there is a narrow range of consistent participation from Armstrong organizations and there is a lack of quality assurance of posted events.

Regarding the first point, at first glance the calendar seems to offer a diverse amount of events, but this is only when searching through all campuses. Georgia Southern as an institution has plenty of incentive to keep their end of the calendar up to date, so these events tend to be properly posted.

However, when selecting only the Armstrong Campus, issues begin to arise. The difference of student-organization events on the calendar compared to the amount we find on billboards and other sources on campus is staggering.

It’s not surprising to come across a new flier posted around campus on a daily basis. It’s much more uncommon to see one of these events advertised on the Events Calendar.

This may be because Armstrong students are unfamiliar with the calendar, or because they don’t feel that posting consistently will help with attendance. More communication between the university and its student organizations may help bring a wider variety of events to the calendar.

Most often when I looked at the calendar this year it was dominated by Campus Recreation and Intramurals-related events, as the CRI team is one of the few departments to ensure that every possible event is posted. If every organization followed their example, we would have a calendar full of events that students and other interested parties could explore.

Which brings us to the next point: quality assurance. An example of this occurred today, as I wrote this article. I pulled up the calendar to see how it looks, and was immediately met with an RSS feed error.

These kinds of errors are pretty simple to fix, but it’s surprisingly easy to find errors such as these. More of an effort needs to be made to maintain a high standard of quality with this calendar. It’s available for everyone to see, not just those directly affiliated with the university.

Our events represent the culture of our school, and the events calendar should be a high-quality advertisement for this culture. When a lack of student participation and a lack of quality control combine, it leads to problems greater than the sum of their parts.

With a fully-functioning and highly-populated events calendar, the Inkwell, students and others would have a much easier time attending events, giving them exposure and contributing to a positive campus experience for all. In its current state, the school suffers, and so do the students.