“What’s going on today?” It’s an innocent question. Sometimes asked by students wondering what the Bethel Student Association has planned or alumni looking for opportunities to connect.

Bethel is a busy place—and we wouldn’t have it any other way. But, that means this question isn’t an easy one to answer.

Every day there are events ranging from classes and lectures to concerts, dances, and athletic competitions. Add to the mix Bethel’s 4 schools and locations in St. Paul and both coasts; it’s hard to keep track of everything that’s going on.

It’s a dilemma we’ve been thinking about for several years. And you’d think there would be an easy solution. After all, our Gmail calendars make sense and Outlook wasn’t too shabby either.

But to find a calendar that’s built for the hundreds of campus events Bethel has each month is a pretty tall order. Sure, plenty of vendors provide options, but they honestly cost an arm and a leg and still wouldn’t work quite right for our community.

So, we built our own with the help of our friends at Infrae. And thanks to their hard work, we’ve launched a new events calendar.

Here are a few highlights:

  • Gridview. While no one ever used the term “grid view,” whenever we asked people about the old calendar, the sentiment was that it doesn’t look like a calendar. Everything was listed in one long-running list. Now it looks just like your favorite wall calendar (minus the cute cat pictures).
  • Updated filtering. Unless you’re a know-it-all, you probably don’t want to know everything that is happening at Bethel. With the new calendar it’s much easier to set preferences to see what you want and ignore what you don’t.
  • Integration with Bethel’s systems. Since the calendar is integrated with the engine that powers Bethel’s website, we can easily promote department and office events on any page in the new site.

But don’t worry, we’re not done. This is just the first phase. We’re also working on:

  • Hover details. Hover over an event on the calendar and see the times, locations, and description.
  • Shareable events. Whether it be Gmail, Outlook, or iCal, you’ll be able to add the event directly to your calendar (unless your calendar is on paper—we can’t help you there).
  • Updated submission process. Submitting events can be a tedious process, especially if your event spans multiple days. We’ll be updating this process to make things much easier.

If you’re still reading, check out the new calendar. Let us know what you think and let us know what should be on the list for the next set of upgrades.