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USG introduces online calendar

No longer do students have to shuffle through numerous flyers, emails and voice mail messages to remember their activity schedules. Instead, they can turn to the new USG Web calendar.

"This online calendar is the most significant thing that the USG has done for student life at Princeton for the last five years," USG president David Ascher '99 said. "We would like to see this become the definitive calendar for Princeton University."

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Not only can organizations advertise events for free, but any member of the community can post events on the interactive calendar, which was put into effect earlier this month. "It's like a living creature, constantly being updated by students who use it," Ascher said.

The user can customize a personal calendar of events by selecting particular organizations. The user can then choose to receive an email reminder the night before each event takes place. The calendar also features a map of each event's location.

"Other schools have launched Web calendars, but none have been as extensive as this one," Ascher said.

Ascher and USG Web team member T.J. Mather '99 were the main creators of the calendar, though they collaborated with organizations including CIT and the Office of Communications.

Posting events

Currently, 750 events are posted on the site, according to Ascher. These events can be sorted by category, such as meetings, films and sports.

"We hope students use it extensively so they can see the many activities that student groups are running," USG Project board member Gary So '00 said. Beginning next week, the USG will place advertisements about the calendar in campus publications, send email to students and alumni and distribute leaflets to all faculty and administrators, Ascher said.

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Although the official advertising drive has not yet begun, 700 students used the calendar one day last week, according to Ascher.

Students said they have found the calendar to be a useful tool. "It condenses (information) and makes it easier to get to," Erin Walsh '01 said. "It provides less of an obstacle for communication.

Plans for the online calendar had been "in the works in some form or another" for the past five years, according to Ascher.

Associate Director of Information Services at CIT Serge Goldstein said implementation of the calendar required technology that was unavailable five years ago.

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Associate Director of Information Services Rita Saltz said the joint effort between the USG and CIT has been productive.

"There has been considerable undergraduate input and collaboration with CIT via the USG, and some of the good things students may enjoy today are precisely as a result of that partnership," she said in an email yesterday.

Other USG online projects include Bookline, a student marketplace for used textbooks, and Roomline, which aids seniors in finding post-graduation roommates. Ascher said statistics indicate that hundreds of students use the USG Web server every day.

The address of the Web calendar is www.princeton.edu/calendar.

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