In early November, SNHU launched a new version of Master Calendar, operated on the 25Live interface by CollegeNET, to mitigate the issues and inconsistencies posed by the previous R25 and Master Calendar system.
The new version of Master Calendar can still be found via MySNHU along the right-hand bar of the homepage. This version features not only the on-campus Student Events and Activities calendar, but also the COCE, Athletics and Academic calendars. In this regard, students truly have access to a “master” calendar.
SNHU, with a rapidly growing community and scheduling 7,000 reservations per year, were in need of an interface that could support its students. Looking to support the community, Director of Conference Services Denise Morin said, “Our mission is to service our students first.”
After three years of a full transition from the old to a new system, Morin said, “Contracts were ending and CollegeNET informed us that they would no longer support the old interface [R25]… It no longer made sense to pay for two servers. It was silly that students had to previously go to two separate areas. Therefore, the decision was made to go to the cloud-based server [25Live] for more support.”
Positive changes students can look forward to including an interactive interface where they can customize what they would like to see on the Master Calendar by selecting from several options and Calendars on the right-hand bar, to customize their viewing experience. In addition to this, students are able to search for events.
“With any new system you’re looking for basic functionality,” said Morin. “Reserve a location, have a description, reserve resources, post information about an event, add contact information and upload pictures and flyers.” Many of these have been met. However, there is still hope that flyers can be included as the system progresses.
Additionally, due to the cloud-based nature of the new Master Calendar, it can load faster than the previous system, and within the reservation portion, there is an ability for the calendar to differentiate meeting time from set up time, something that was not possible in previous versions.
Despite the upgrade, there were a few glitches that caused confusion for general and reserving users. These included: white background on white font, lack of differentiation of “organizer” and “contact” based on the back end of reservations along with an inability to disconnect calendars that are connected to parent calendars on other services.
A large issue for students would be that spring break and commencement are not listed on the master calendar. Instead, students must search for these dates listed as a pdf under the registrar page.
Much of the feedback regarding 25Live has been channeled through the Office of Student Involvement and its representatives, as they have more direct contact with the students using the new system. Gavin Telfer, director of Student Involvement, has worked closely with the system regarding events and stressed the significance of feedback and for students to know that it is being utilized. When thinking about improving the look and feel of the published version, student input will also be important and included.
“We’re going to try to recruit the help of at least one student to help with [the look],” said Telfer. “Hopefully someone with a graphic design and layout background… to help make the published side a little easier on the eye and easy to navigate.”
“We have not received any negative feedback,” said Morin at Conference Services, sharing that there may be a disconnect in what students are feeling versus what they are sharing. They have discussed the possibility of issuing a survey to students to collect their thoughts. Comments, questions and concerns are encouraged by their office, and event organizers can reach out to Conference Services Representative Alexis Hartnett at firstname.lastname@example.org or via the office’s main number 603-645-9612.
“We welcome feedback,” said Morin. “We’re here to support the students, the faculty and the university as a whole.”