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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Free writing tutor program cuts hours and locations

    A secretarys desk remains unoccupied this semester in the department of Englishs Writing Center because of a lack of funding. The center is facing drastic budget cuts and may have to limit some of its editing and tutoring services.
    A secretary’s desk remains unoccupied this semester in the department of English’s Writing Center because of a lack of funding. The center is facing drastic budget cuts and may have to limit some of its editing and tutoring services.

    A lobby without a receptionist and self-check-in forms greet students at the Writing Center this semester as a result of budget cuts in the English department.

    The center in Bear Down Gym now offers 60 hours per week instead of 90 hours, and there are fewer hours that undergraduate tutors can work.

    The budget cuts also shortened tutoring sessions and caused the closure of walk-in tutoring satellite locations across campus, said Georgie Miller, a graduate coordinator at the Writing Center.

    The English department, whose budget was cut by about 8 percent this semester, had to reduce the amount of money it gives to the free tutoring program, Miller said.

    As a result, the Writing Center’s budget was nearly cut in half and it had to function on 60 percent of its normal funds.

    Miller said the current half-hour tutoring sessions are usually long enough to serve the needs of most students, but a one-hour session, which was offered previous semesters, is often needed for graduate students with longer papers or for students who speak English as a foreign language.

    In addition, the Writing Center was unable to hire a receptionist this semester. Miller said she and two other graduate coordinators try to answer the phone line when they are in the office, but it goes unanswered if they aren’t there.

    As a result, students are being asked to make their appointments in person at the Writing Center.

    The Writing Center’s undergraduate tutors can only work up to 4 hours each week as a result of the budget cut, but they used to work up to 10 hours.

    “”I was expecting to work at least six hours a week and I wanted to work that much,”” said James Jackson, an undergraduate tutor at the Writing Center who became a paid tutor this semester. “”I’m doing it more for experience. It’s a good place for me to learn about my writing and to help others and to experience working with other people.””

    Another undergraduate tutor, Erin Carmichael, said she isn’t sure if she will return to the Writing Center next semester if she can’t work more hours.

    Carmichael, an anthropology sophomore, said she had to get a second job as a residence hall desk assistant to make up for the hours of lost work.

    Miller said she hopes the Writing Center will be able to get more funds from somewhere else to get the center “”back up to full speed.””

    “”It’s stressful because we’ve been primarily funded by the English department and there’s a perception that we primarily serve English students, but most composition students aren’t English majors,”” Miller said. “”We perceive ourselves as a university service.””

    Daniel Vadillo, a biology junior, said he goes to the Writing Center for help with his English papers and lab reports and said he hasn’t been affected by the changes this semester.

    “”It’s a great resource to help you out when you need it and it’s free, so why not use it,”” Vadillo said.

    Vadillo said he is grateful for the Writing Center because it has helped him earn better grades on assignments.

    Erica Alonzo, a biochemistry and molecular biophysics freshman, said she’s also glad the free tutoring is offered.

    “”If it wasn’t free I wouldn’t be as inclined to come,”” Alonzo said.

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