Writing center changes site

By By Rochelle McConkie

By Rochelle McConkie

Students receiving writing help won’t have to work in the hallway anymore when the University Writing Center relocates next summer to what is now a storage room at the top of the west entrance of the Marriott Library.

Senators from the Associated Students of the University of Utah voted on Thursday to give $5,000 to the $25,000 project, and administrators have agreed to pay the rest. The General Assembly is expected to pass legislation tonight to renovate the center.

“We felt funding this project to put it in a more prominent place…would make students more aware of the service,” ASUU President Spencer Pearson said. “(The writing center) is really good for students because it doesn’t just benefit one type of student — everyone has to write.”

Jonathan Balzotti, associate director of the University Writing Center, said the location on the second floor has drawbacks because of the heavy volume of students walking through the area and noise from students talking.

The center asked the library if they could relocate, and the library suggested two places: near study areas in the new Knowledge Commons or in a storage room at the top of the west entrance stairs.

Balzotti said the Knowledge Commons area would present the same problems, but the storage room lacked the lighting they needed. The Writing Center decided to remodel the storage room to remove the “Browsing Collection” bookcase on the outside wall and replace it with a glass wall and glass doors so students would be able to see into the center and enter at the front desk. The door on the other wall would be filled in, and they would carpet and paint the inside of the center.

“The location will help because there’s a lot of foot traffic,” Balzotti said. “Establishing a center environment will help students come back and help the writing center promote writing.”

The project is part of the second phase of library construction and should be completed in the summer of 2009.

ASUU helped establish the writing center in 2003 and has since provided equipment, computers and software for an online tutoring program, which they will begin this summer.

The center offers free tutoring sessions and workshops to help students with any kind of writing assignment. About 2,000 students are tutored at the center each year.

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Jarad Reddekopp

During the summer of 2009, the writing center will be relocated to the second floor in the Marriott Library. A storage room will be renovated and a glass wall will replace what was once a shelf full of books.