Need to Schedule an Event? Help is on the Way

Posted on August 1, 2016
Joy Washington

Have you ever scheduled a campus event, then discovered at the last minute that another group booked your location for the same day and time?

This frustration will end on Monday, Aug. 1, when USA’s Office of Special Events launches the new Event Management Software system, or EMS, a way for faculty, staff, students and the community to plan and schedule campus events and meetings online – all in one place, and on one calendar.

EMS, used by many universities around the country, could be called “End My Stress” for its unique scheduling system of events, places and times.

“This new system will not only make it easier to schedule events, including time and location, but will enable campus and community users to see a schedule of all the events happening on campus,” said USA President Tony Waldrop.

Melva Jones, director for the Office of Special Events, believes implementation of the EMS system will enhance the University’s brand by highlighting its many diverse and dynamic events.

“With participation from the entire University community,” she said, “we can populate our website homepage, featured events page and a full-calendar listing.”

Jones also is excited about the unique opportunity to strengthen relationships with the larger Mobile community.

“We know events can bring people together, cultivate partnerships, highlight talent and build community,” Jones said. “We have a sincere commitment to support phenomenal events happening on campus and remain engaged with members of the community.”

Jones is also excited to be building and managing the first University Office of Special Events, which will manage the EMS.

“We are committed to serving as innovative, creative, thoughtful, strategic event brand ambassadors for the University,” she said. “We are thrilled for the University to get to know all of us, and we are here to serve.”     

Jones explained that her office will coordinate, manage and select a portfolio of events across the entire University, provide event assessment when necessary and develop tools and resources for the entire University.

“In special events, our goal is to take the pain out of planning,” Jones said. “Our mission is to help the University design seamless and unforgettable events and special occasions.”

With the new EMS software, users will be able to:

  • Reduce the time required to schedule and manage events.
  • See what events and meetings are scheduled at a certain time in a certain room.
  • Eliminate scheduling conflicts and avoid double bookings.
  • Request the room to be set up in a specific configuration for an event.
  • Access to EMS system via South’s website 24/7.

Jones said she is grateful for the support of the EMS planning and advisory committees, Computer Services Center, Student Affairs, and the Mitchell Center. She said their support led to the completion and implementation of EMS within three months.

For more information about the new EMS software system and the Office of Special Events training sessions, visit The new Office of Special Events homepage can be viewed at

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