Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Threats?

I woke up this morning to the linked story and wrote immediately to WCENTER:

I was just looking through Google news (news.google.com) and a disturbing story out of Texas A&M popped up (link).

In a nutshell a candidate for student body president is proposing doing away with fees paid to services such as their Writing Center since it is "not used by all students" and "could be changed to being paid for based on usage instead of a blanket fee for all students." When I went to the A&N WC web site, I discovered that students fees for the service for everyone is $8.00 per semester. So all undergraduate students are paying $16.00 per year to pay to keep the Writing Center open. Now granted this person has not won election and (as we all know) student body officers cannot necessarily make such sweeping decisions on their own (but I'm not familar at all with how it works at A&M), but it does sound an alarm to me that attitudes like this can affect the work we do.

I am curious if others have faced such a situation as the folks at A&M are now apparently facing, and how you dealt with it. Is this a problem with using student fees for funding services like the writing center rather than having a straight-line budget from the institution itself?

--Clint

I didn't want to sound alarmist, but I wanted to start a discussion of funding sources and whether using student fees really works well. Aren't students always going to say "I don't use that" therefore it should be a pay-as-you-go service?

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

"Librarians on Location"

In collaboration with their library, Sam Houston State Writing Center has created a program to bring librarians into the Writing Center. The program combines both writing center work with developing writing and the librarians research expertise. As an outreach program, this effort goes both ways: the library can reach out to make folks aware of their services to help people learn about research and the Writing Center can make contact with colleagues across the campus:

"This outreach program (Librarians on Location) is one of the most visible ways our librarians demonstrate their commitment to providing access to information resources to SHSU students," said Ann Holder, director of library services.

"We have sent librarians to a number of locations this past year and the Writing Center has proven to be our most successful venue; it is an obvious pairing and we encourage library use while demonstrating that the Newton Gresham Library, its resources, and librarians, are primary sources of information." (link , 3-4)

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Extra-Special Co-Guest-Star

Neal Lerner over at Friends of the Writing Center Journal (q.v.) gave me a great idea that they have been using over there since they started: guest bloggers. Basically what would happen is that PeerCentered would be "turned over" to a writing center for a week for them to do what they will. I've had one bite so far, and hopefully we can generate some more interest. Guest-star blogging might just do the trick. Hey it worked for Johnny Carson for years, didn't it?

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Spree

I think I might go on one more recruiting spree to see if anyone else is really interested in writing on PeerCentered. I don't mind blogging about writing-center- or peer-tutoring-related things I find on the internet, but it does seem to be a little distant from the idea of sharing ideas/experience that we originally were working from.

Hmm.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Magnetic Lit

The folks at the University of Connecticut Writing Center have found a pretty cool way to advertise their center: an interactive magnetic poetry display. The display takes poems from famous authors in magnetic poetry form and then let's passers-by make any changes they want. As Laurie Cella, co-director of the UConn Writing Center says "The biggest goal...is publicizing the Writing Center..." (5).

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Searching

While on the plane I searched through the PDF version of the CCCC I downloaded previously. There are quite a few sessions devoted to writing center work this year. I can’t say it with any kind of statistical confidence, but the number of writing-center-related sessions seems to be up from previous CCCC. I suppose I could dig through old programs, but that seems quite a lot of work for very little pay off. Then again someone might find the statistics interest or useful. (Put that in the side-project pile.) There are fewer presentations devoted to peer tutoring, but after removing “peer” and “ing” from my search of the program, I did locate more.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

4C

I'll be at CCCC in San Francisco for the rest of the week. I'll make note of any peer-tutoring-related presentations if I can get access.