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Undergraduate Student Writing Center opens third location

Third-year communications and political science student Tina Tucker assists Zhihao Zhao, a first-year business economics and psychology student, with writing assignments.

New Location, Hours

The Undergraduate Student Writing Center opened up a new location in Powell Library 228.

Here are the hours: Sunday-Thursday, 6-9 p.m.

Source: Christine Holten, director of the Undergraduate Student Writing Center.

Compiled by Jillian Beck, Bruin senior staff.

By Daily Bruin Staff

Jan. 14, 2013 2:20 a.m.

The Undergraduate Student Writing Center opened a third location in Powell Library Sunday as part of an effort to offer more one-on-one tutoring sessions and research training to students.

The new location will offer sessions with Peer Learning Facilitators ­– students hired to work with other undergraduates in one-on-one sessions and teach them how to do more in-depth research because of the location in the library.

The center also has locations in Humanities A61 and Rieber Hall 115.

With its expansion to Powell 228, the Undergraduate Student Writing Center’s staff hopes to serve more students and bring students closer to the research resources in Powell, said Christine Holten, director of the center.

The expansion will be funded through the Rose Gilbert fund, which has financed other library services, said Kelly Miller, director of Teaching and Learning Services and head of Powell Library.

Gilbert is a retired high school English teacher in the Los Angeles area, Miller said.

About $6,500 from the fund will be used to pay for the Peer Learning Facilitators and the receptionists, Holten said.

The first Undergraduate Student Writing Center location in the Humanities building opened in 2011 to compensate for the closing of the Covel Peer Learning Labs.

The following year, the center expanded to Rieber Hall.

The center had more than 2,000 appointments last quarter – with about 1,700 students using the Humanities location and 400 using the center in Rieber, Holten said.

The writing center locations, however, had to turn away about 770 students last quarter, Holten added.

“We are at capacity – more than capacity – for the appointments in A61 and Rieber 115, which are our two locations,” Holten said.

With the third location in Powell, staff from the new location said they hope it will help meet student demand.

Lesley Girkins, a third-year physiological science student, said her professors have recommended that students utilize the services of the center.

She said the additional staff could help make the centers a more accessible resource to the undergraduate population.

The center will train the six Peer Learning Facilitators to help undergraduates learn how to use the research resources in Powell.

The facilitators will work in pairs during the nightly shifts, said Julia Glassman, a writing librarian.

“I love writing and I like teaching,” said second-year political science student Tobias Hirano, one of the facilitators. “I’m going to help students do better in school.”

Mike Neighbors, a fourth-year history student, is starting his second quarter as one of the student facilitators.

He said most undergraduate students are never formally taught how to research, so he would like to show students how to take advantage of the resources.

Neighbors said the Peer Learning Facilitators intend to work with each other and the librarians to learn how to use the research tools in Powell.

“We want to make it a fun, cozy and creative space,” Glassman said.

The new location is also meant to help students with both academic and creative writing, Glassman said.

“We really want it to be a community of writers,” she said.

Email Freedman at [email protected].

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