After years of students walking to Donnarumma 255 for help on their papers and projects, Fairfield’s writing center has relocated to the lower level of the DiMenna-Nyselius Library.

After countless efforts of pushing for the writing center to move to a new location, the change finally came this semester, marking a new start for the program.

“The writing center needed to be in a better space,” said Director of the Writing Center and English Professor Dr. Elizabeth Boquet.

The primary rationale for the writing center moving to the lower level in the DiMenna-Nyselius Library was because it had out-used its space, said Boquet. The writing center’s previous space is now shared for the honors program and for Masters in Public Administration.

With the writing center located in the library, students have direct access to other resources while they receive help on their papers.

“We wanted to think about student’s needs in writing and we wanted to connect them with other related resources,” Boquet said. It has become “an information commons model.”

For Julia Aparicio ‘16, who started working at the writing center this year, the change is seen as a better option.

“It is a centralized location,” Aparicio said. “Donnarumma is an academic building and I felt students had to go out of their way to get there.”

Over the years, the writing center has become an important resource for students. According to Boquet, in the mid 1990’s the writing center had around 250 sessions a year. Last year, there were around 2,000 sessions.

Because student usage of the writing center has increased in the last decade, moving to the library could accommodate their needs more fully, not only in sentence structure and grammar, but in their research methods as well.

The writing center opened full time on Monday, Sept. 16 and students have already taken advantage of receiving help from their peer tutors.

Students who frequently use the writing center view the move positively because of their work schedule.

“People write their papers here anyway,” said Aparicio. “It’s nice to know that you can just come right downstairs and know this resource is available to them.”

Owen Lucas, a graduate assistant who works at the writing center said, “This space fits our philosophy as an organization.”

Doug Xia ’16, however, does not see a difference in changing the location of the writing center.

“It’s about the person who is helping you, not where they are helping you,” Xia said. “For me, I’m looking for help on grammar and sentence structure. You don’t need the library to get help from that.”

Donnarumma Hall was the writing center’s original space dating back to 1980’s, said Boquet. When she was interviewing for a position at Fairfield in 1994, she said she was told the writing center was in a temporary space.

There are 14 undergraduate peer tutors and one graduate assistant that work at the writing center, according to Boquet.

Students looking to get involved in becoming a peer tutor at the writing center are first required to take ENW 290: Reading and Responding. Based on students’ performances in that class, they are asked to become a peer tutor at the center, Boquet said.

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