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Oracle Calendar software now available to students, staff

December 4, 2008

UW-River Falls is promoting a new software program called Oracle Calendar to increase the number of users and improve the system for current users.

The program will allow users to upload their schedule online so that others can quickly determine when other users are available and when they have class.

The program serves as a personal calendar and time management application that allows individuals and groups to schedule meetings and organize events, said Mary-Alice Muraski, computer support services manager of information technology systems.

According to Rebecca Vandenhoy, a student in charge of Oracle user training, the program is very user-friendly and allows users quick, easy access to their calendar and meeting setup.

“Users do not have to have to communicate with each member verbally or through e-mail but can easily see if a user is busy or available,” she said.

The plan is to allow students to request that their class schedule (which is on eSIS) get loaded into their calendar. One big advantage is in scheduling group or team meetings—if everyone loads their class and work schedule-selecting a time or several times would be very easy, Muraski said.

If more students and staff upload their school and work schedules, the software becomes more effective.

“The goal is to have as many people using the software as possible,” Rachel Westlund, a junior involved in marketing the project, said.

The University plans to incorporate a variety of methods to market the calendar software. A table will be setup in the University Center, posters will be placed around campus and there will be screensavers on the University computers to inform students of the new software.

There will be Web sites created and workshops available the last two weeks of the semester to further inform students, Vandenhoy said.

According to Muraski, the software was originally purchased with a maintenance fee by the University in 2003 and was upgraded this year.

UWRF student Timothy Richert said he questions the University’s motives.

“I think it’s not valuable, it’s dangerous and it makes me wonder why the administration pushed so hard for a program that records and displays the whereabouts of students,” he said.

Muraski said the software can be accessed through a variety of methods. On campus students can use the program by logging in with their UWRF student identification number. Staff can use the Web interface and have access to Oracle via a desktop application as well.