Writing Center offers students new options

By By Alex Steele

By Alex Steele

The University Writing Center in the Marriott Library hopes to increase the number of students it tutors this year with new options for assistance from tutors.

Besides the typical person-to-person, half-hour tutoring sessions the UWC currently offers, four new programs are being developed.

The first is a quick instant-messaging-type chat session for students with quick questions for tutors.

Other programs include an asynchronous e-mail session in which students can e-mail questions to tutors and receive responses within two days and a video chat session for students who are studying abroad.

Daniel Emery, assistant professor and coordinator of the UWC, said ASUU offered the center a $6,000 grant last year to help fund “the whole shmear” of online tutoring.

“Our mission is to improve student writing,” Emery said. “We work on practically anything-from generating ideas and improving organization to teaching students to become better editors,” he said.

Thirteen tutors work for the center- each in his or her junior year or higher.

Camie Schaefer, a senior English major, said she wanted to experience tutoring students at the Writing Center before pursuing a career in teaching.

“It’s really rewarding to be able to help others,” she said. “It’s always really great when people come back and let us know how they did.”

Tutors are typically hired once a year, Emery said, and are paid $10 per hour.

Carole Goode, a graduate student studying public administration, said that although she lives off campus, she makes time to visit the Writing Center. “I wish I would have had it over the tail end of the Summer Semester,” she said.

After spending more than a decade outside the classroom, Goode has returned to get her master’s degree. “The tutors are really great. They help bring the confidence level back. If students aren’t coming here to utilize this, they’re nuts,” she said.

Schaefer agreed with Goode and added that she feels the center is underused. “I don’t think people understand how helpful this is,” she said.

Emery said that last year, the UWC’s tutors serviced about 3,000 appointments, but the program is currently on track for about 4,200 appointments this year.

For more information about the center, visit the UWC Web site at www.writingcenter.utah.edu.

Kim Peterson

Senior Sarah Frohlich helps strengthen senior Kunie Sato’s writing assignment on Oct. 2 at the Writing Center in the Marriott Library.