A new informational platform, The Fountain, was launched at Minnesota State for faculty and staff members.
Searching for information about events on campus can be stressful for staff and faculty members, who receive a number of emails from students daily.
“It’s a place for all of the news, information and events that faculty and staff need here at the university,” said Assistant Director of Communications and Special Events Jennifer Besel.
Besel said MSU has never had anything similar to The Fountain. All communications about important events or news had been coming through email.
“So this was an opportunity for us to find a way to streamline some of that to make it accessible and searchable for our employees here on campus,” said Besel.
According to Besel, the team looked at various options to name the platform. Bezel said The Fountain has a lot of reasons to be called this way.
“But of course, the fountain outside is the center of our campus,” said Besel. “And so the fountain on the SharePoint became sort of the center of our campus communications.”
An icon with a direct link was installed in their computers for employees to access The Fountain. The Fountain is based on SharePoint, which is connected to the Microsoft ecosystem. Thus, faculty and staff members can access the platform anytime from their personal devices, too.
“All faculty and staff computers have an icon right on the desktop that is a direct link to The Fountain,” said Besel. “But yes, if they wanted to get it on any of their mobile devices, there’s a SharePoint app that they can download. They just sign in with their StarID and password like they would on their desktop.”
The Fountain team is working on adding more university internal information to the platform. Besel said her goal is to make this information easily accessible through the phone.
The team also recognizes the amounts of emails students receive and discusses the possibility of creating a similar platform for all students.
“We do see the potential here for this kind of platform to be available for students as well because we know they get a lot of emails, too,” said Besel. “We’re in the very beginning stages of talking about how that could work.”
Besel encourages employees to learn about the platform and leave feedback for further development.
“We’re asking them to ‘dip in’ daily or ‘splash around’ and learn the platform,” said Besel. “There is, right on the front part of it, a button that asks for feedback, and if they have any feedback, they’re more than welcome to share that with us and the team. We’re looking at those and making regular adjustments to what’s on there to try to make this the most useful tool we can.”
Header photo: The Fountain is a new way to recieve information about campus news and can be a useful tool to search for information on campus. (Dominic Bothe/The Reporter)
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