To acquire wisdom, one must observe

One calendar to rule them all

What does Brandeis offer its students? Really—that’s a serious question. It’s a wide topic that can’t easily be grappled within a short period of time. I believe it is safe to say that every single student who finds themselves involved on campus takes advantage of some of the things the university offers its students beyond classes, room and board. After all, college is an experience with more dimensions than just classroom, learning and studying.

These offerings for new experiences include obvious benefits such as the club meetings many of us attend, concerts run by Student Events, opportunities to volunteer with Waltham Group and the schmear of other scheduling oddities that fill our weeknights (and sometimes weekends). Even The Brandeis Hoot is run through an outlet afforded by the university. We meet multiple times per week, we write often, we review constantly and we turn to a physical manifestation of our efforts to distribute the news. The ability to create a such a product on a weekly basis is an immensely rewarding activity, and it would not be possible without the level of support the university provides.

The Brandeis operating budget totals in the hundreds of millions of dollars, $296.2 million in FY 2012. To put it quite simply, that is a lot of money to spend on a lot of items, initiatives and services. There is, however, a lingering question that needs to be asked: How do students easily stay aware of all of the opportunities for intellectual expansion that are available to them?

If one is uninvolved beyond their academic curriculum and wishes to find activities to do, there are multiple outlets through which to do so. There are two club fairs per year and online resources such as Facebook and the club directory, and people can always simply seek out things to do through word of mouth. Sometimes, however, it seems that student involvement ends with clubs.

There are a plethora of resources, presentations, programs and amenities available for students to take advantage of that many have no idea even exist. As an example, most at this point know of the Xfinity service available to those residing on campus, but many have no idea that there is Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus available for free to all faculty and students.

There are plenty of other resources available for students to take advantage of. For students struggling with classes, there are multiple paths to seek help through the Office of Academic Services (like BUGS tutoring.) For students looking for events, there are Facebook invites, the Brandeis app, weekly emails from Stephanie Grimes and the Student Union, and word of mouth information. For students wishing to hear fascinating perspectives on today’s issues, amazing speakers come to campus on a very regular basis. For students seeking culture, there are near-daily performances and exhibitions to be discovered, from Slosberg to Chum’s.

Facebook invites, billboards, Overheard at Brandeis, apps, weekly emails and flyers—students receive immeasurable amounts pertaining to events, club meetings, lectures and important dates from a plethora of sources. There is no true unification in these streams of information, and because of this splintered system, students are more than likely to have multiple events that they would otherwise attend slip past their radar.

I propose a revamped system with which students can access this information all in one place. A smooth one-stop portal where students can access club meeting information, visiting lecture schedules, performance dates, study sessions and other activities. It would work to increase a student’s ability to keep track of their already chaotic schedules and allow maximum access and visibility of important events. Taking this measure to bring order to the chaos of the university’s events and activity schedule would be a great benefit for the student body.

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