Opinion: FSCJ’s Event Calendar Webpage is (still) a Flop

Monday, June 1, I decided to check FSCJ’s Calendar of Events webpage to see whether the college addressed my previous communication. Enough time had elapsed since I last communicated the misinformation present on FSCJ’s event webpage to Student Life at Downtown Campus, that I had expected to see the contact link corrected. Much to my surprise, the contact link on the webpage had not been updated. A schedule for Footloose Friday was still posted, so I made a mental note to call Student Life and verify that this event was still taking place on Friday, June 5.

I closed out my search window and placed a phone call to Student Life at South Campus–it was time to find out why there was such a delay in correcting the webpage. Student Life at South Campus referred me to Kristy Synnott, interim director of collegiate life at FSCJ.
I relayed my grievance to Synnott, who offered up a couple of possible explanations for the communication breakdown regarding the webpage. Kristy mentioned that Student Life at Downtown Campus has been without an event coordinator since Clashous Witherspoon retired three weeks ago. The calendar may not have reflected a cancellation on the Friday I attempted to attend Footloose Friday because block scheduling had been used. Therefore, information was not being updated frequently. Synnott suggested that I contact Kelly Thurlow, integrated communications manager, regarding changes to the webpage.

Another possible explanation could be FSCJ’s ongoing restructuring of the Student Success departments at all campuses. Staff in these departments are uncertain about their job security following June 30. As part of the restructuring process, faculty is having to reapply–and in some cases re-interview–for the positions they currently hold, with no guarantee that they will be able to keep their jobs come July, 1. All of this disruption may be causing a delay in communication. Synnott concluded our conversation saying, “The reorganization is all about student communication.” As part of the reorganization process, the college is researching a new strategic plan for communication in order to make information more readily available to students.

Coming full circle, I decided to follow-up with Student Life at Downtown Campus to check on the status of the Footloose Friday event. Hellitz Rivera greeted me on the other end of the line. I asked Hellitz if Footloose Friday was taking place, and she said she believed so. I asked if she was sure and we decided it would be good idea for Hellitz to get verification and call me back with an answer. She returned my call to tell me that, “Footloose Friday will not be taking place this week because a contract has yet to be signed.”

I thanked Hellitz, and told her that the webpage was still showing the event for Friday, and she assured me that she would contact Kelly Thurlow and make her aware of the issue.

By noon the following day, my search revealed that the webpage had been corrected. While I’m relieved to find this issue remedied, I am left to wonder if breakdowns in communication will continue to occur as the reorganization of FSCJ takes shape.

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