Student leaders should utilize campus calendar

By Jordan Clayton-Taylor

NIU’s calendar site is supposed to be a tool for exposing people to organizations, promoting diversity among groups, but those groups aren’t using it enough.

NIU features a calendar,, to inform students of campus activities. But, not all student organizations list their events on the page and students aren’t aware of their events.

Unfortunately, organizations will lose opportunities to collaborate with students of different backgrounds.

Zeta Phi Beta sorority wanted its 12th annual Back to Campus tour, a Welcome Days event, to be more diverse by inviting everyone. Lanesha Jackson, the secretary of the sorority, said she invited all Greeks to the event. Adding the sorority’s event to the calendar made it easier for the members to reach out to students of all backgrounds.

“So, it was no longer all black organizations preforming. I invited everyone,” Jackson said. “I did take the initiative [to] try [and] create diversity.”

Social media is a great way to market events, but it has its limitations, especially if people don’t follow the organization’s Facebook or Twitter accounts. Student leaders can submit their events to the calender and everyone can read about them without having to search through social media.

“If students used the events calendar more, I think that would help us create more of a central location for people to look,” said Jill Zambito, director of Student Involvement & Student Development. “I think right now it’s kind of segmented. We have a population who only look up information through social media and then we have a population who only looks at fliers in the residence halls.

“I think what we need to do collectively is see how we can cross promote and come together.”

If students don’t know it’s possible to submit events to the online calendar, the Student Association, which oversees student organizations, should send emails that explain to leaders how to use the calendar.

The more student leaders access the event calendar, the more diverse the university’s organizations will become.