A Web-based resource where student-related clubs, organizations and different departments on campus can post events is in danger of being eliminated due to “light use,” according to Director of Student Activities and Union Services Mike Patterson.
The resource, called the New Paltz events page, is where on or off campus events are promoted to students at newpaltz.edu/events. An RSS feed also exists that gives the user up to date information on new material, in this case when new events are posted. The resource was created three years ago, but it hasn’t been used “significantly.”
“Computer Services put out a request, ‘Hey, if you really want this to be utilized, then students need to be entering their events’, or ultimately it’s outdated, not serving its purpose and [we] may have to take it off,” Patterson said.
Patterson said he gets a request from a student event group “every couple of weeks.”
The process to post an event is not a difficult one and it is entirely Web-based, according to Patterson. He said student clubs and organizations submit the information online at my.newpaltz.edu, where it then must get clearance from his office.
Patterson said there is a specific criterion he looks for to see whether an event gets approved.
“That the club has turned in [the] reservation form to hold the event, the event consultations that needed to be done [are completed] and that the event’s information appears to be accurate,” said Patterson.
Still, the approval process varies between submissions from students and from faculty. His office approves student proposals while faculty and staff submissions are approved by the web communications office.
Patterson credits Council of Organizations Chair Shayna Bentley for making the events page one of her priorities. Last semester, she worked on improving the events calendar and drawing the information into the RSS feed.
Bentley said she believes there’s a lack of communication about the events page this semester, and at Council of Organization meetings she encourages students to fill out event announcement forms. The forms are then entered onto the Web and sent for approval by Student Association secretary Christine Picault.
Bentley said that students don’t take this extra step in entering it online because school work or other personal commitments come first.
Still, she feels like it’s an effective system, and is now easily accessible as “almost every student goes on a campus computer.” Meanwhile, Patterson said computer services now allow students to access the events calendar on public computers in the Student Union and in various computer labs on campus.
Only student clubs and organizations recognized by SUNY New Paltz and the various departments on campus can utilize the New Paltz events page. Patterson said it has to be a campus-sponsored event. However, clubs, organizations and departments affiliated with New Paltz can use the resource to create sign-ups for an off-campus activity.
The New Paltz events page came out of the Public Affairs and Web Communication Office, according to Patterson. He said his predecessor initiated the process. When Patterson joined the campus community in his current role, student approvals then came to his office where he authorizes what gets approved for the website.
Fourth-year psychology major Daniela Granzo said that the page is a great concept, but that she doesn’t see how it’s necessary.
“Every group has their own Facebook page [to advertise events].”