In an effort to create a centralized list of campus events for the student body, the Yale College Council launched a new “campus calendar” last month — but many students, unaware of its existence, have yet to explore it.
Launched on Sept. 23, the YCC’s new calendar includes some features that bear resemblance to YaleStation, an older site that has listed events across campus, but the calendar ultimately aims to set itself apart by compiling a comprehensive and user-friendly schedule of events from University and student organizations. YCC members said they expect students to use the calendar much more than they have historically used YaleStation.
“YaleStation wasn’t utilized,” YCC President Danny Avraham ’15 said. “It’s not such an appealing website from feedback that we got from students, whether it’s the interface or even just the fact of it never being successful in the past.”
For most of the past year, the YCC’s new calendar had been in the works with Yale’s Information Technology services without progress, prompting the YCC to outsource the development of the calendar to a third-party organization over the summer. Before launching the calendar this fall, the YCC invited numerous student organizations on campus to attend informational sessions. The YCC also encouraged these organizations to regularly update the calendar throughout the year with listings of relevant events, group meetings and campuswide activities.
Avraham added that he hopes the calendar will address some students’ concerns about the difficulty of keeping up with campus events and activities.
“There’s dozens of events each day on campus, and there was no way to figure out what was going on,” Avraham said. “You go outside and have these flyers hanging around everywhere, which is a complete mess — I am actually skeptical as to how much those posters that people invest in are actually informative when they are just randomly on top of one another on those poster boards.”
On the day of the launch, the YCC sent an email to the Yale student body with a video about the calendar, in the hopes of informing students about the website’s new features and uses. But out of more than 20 students interviewed, only four said they used the website, though the majority said they eventually plan on visiting it.
Among the students who have yet to explore the website was Harrison Miller ’16. Though he had not yet thoroughly browsed the events, Miller said the website seems “easily accessible and looks really cool.”
Ishrat Mannan ’17 said she finds the calendar helpful because it compiles events from all across campus. But other students bemoaned the lack of a more versatile platform for the website.
“I would definitely use [the site], but only as an app for an iPhone,” Stephanie Rogers ’17 said. “On the computer, it is way too much work. I would not surf the net to find a calendar.”
Although the development of a mobile format for the calendar has yet to come, YCC Communications Director Andrew Grass said the YCC plans to introduce new formats for the calendar, including daily, weekly and monthly views of the events.
Grass added that the goal of the calendar is to make the experience easier for the viewer.
“Obviously it’s in its first semester,” Grass said. “We’ve been really pleased by how it’s been working so far.”
The YCC’s new calendar presents events in a both listed and monthly formats, so that clicking on each date will bring up a drop-down list of all registered activities, including their times and locations.