Writing Center moving to Robert S. Swanson Learning Center

By Grace Arneberg:

Among the many changes taking place due to the Harvey Hall renovation, University of Wisconsin–Stout’s Writing Center will be moving from the fourth floor of Harvey to the second floor of the library, or Robert S. Swanson Learning Center.

The Writing Center is scheduled to reopen on Monday, Feb. 10. Over Winterm, the library’s former reading lounge was remodeled into a closed space that will be used as the new designated area for writing tutorials. As before, it will be open during the week for regular business hours, and have satellite tutoring in the residence halls, Memorial Student Center and library during the evenings and weekends.

This will be the Writing Center’s first move since 2005 when the current directors Andrea Deacon and Kristin Risley implemented this service at the university.

“We’re really happy to be moving to the library to continue our existing services,” said Deacon. “We’re excited that it’s such a natural fit. This will be its home for the next two years.”

Since the Writing Center first opened nine years ago, business has more than doubled and expanded with satellite, online and walk-in options to better serve UW–Stout’s diverse student population.

“We want to promote the idea that writing is a social activity and that people don’t need to struggle by themselves,” said Risley. “Even the best writers often turn to their peers for another set of eyes.”

The Writing Center offers trained peer consultants for people of all writing abilities and majors across campus during any stage in the writing process: brainstorming, structure, organization and citations. The Writing Center also offers help with professional writing such as resumes, cover letters and applications. However, the Writing Center should be used for consultation rather than for simple editing and proofreading.

“We work to collaborate,” said Deacon. “We’re a learning center aimed to help clients leave more confident and skilled.”

“We’re not a fix-it-shop,” added Risley.

On any given day, the Writing Center’s clients can range from new freshmen to graduate students and international scholars to distance learners.

Along with having a diverse population of clients, the peer tutors at the Writing Center come from various disciplines and backgrounds.

“I enjoy working at the center because it’s not just sitting down with a paper and correcting it,” said Barb Young, a sophomore who has been a tutor at the Writing Center since fall 2013. “It’s talking and interacting and helping people with problems that I either know or can find a solution to. It’s not just a one-sided conversation; you’re able to discuss the writer’s style and ideas with them.”

“I think that the Writing Center is a fantastic resource that benefits both the students and the tutors,” said Renee Brown, a junior who has been with the Writing Center since spring 2013. “The move to the library will be a great way to expand our resources to more students due to its convenient location by the bus stop and the MSC, and I know that the other tutors and I are excited to get in there and start this year off on a positive note!”

“The one thing we hope transfers during the move is the friendly atmosphere,” said Risley. “There might be new walls and carpet, but we still offer the same welcoming service.”

Students interested in working as a tutor must have completed first-year composition classes (English 101 and 102 or the equivalent) with a B or higher. Contact directors Deacon and Risley at wcdirectors@uwstout.edu for more information.

For more information about the Writing Center, go to www.uwstout.edu/writingcenter

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