Writing Center debuts walk-in hour

The Writing Center’s hours at the University of Connecticut’s Homer Babbidge Library now include a designated walk-in hour due to the high demand for its services, according to Writing Center Director, Tom Deans. (Charlotte Lao/The Daily Campus)

The Writing Center’s hours at the University of Connecticut’s Homer Babbidge Library now include a designated walk-in hour due to the high demand for its services, according to Writing Center Director, Tom Deans.

Deans said as of Oct. 25, from 8 to 9 p.m. on Sunday through Monday, the Writing Center is reserved for walk-ins only and operates on a “first come, first served” policy.

Located on the second floor of the library, students use the Writing Center to develop ideas and drafts for essays across multiple disciplines, according to the Writing Center’s website. The Center employs 25 undergraduate and three graduate tutors across a variety of majors to meet one-on-one with students for 45-minute blocks, then write a note to the student reminding them what to work on, according to Deans.

Deans said the walk-in hour served to “open a kind of steam valve” for the built-up demand.

The majority of the tutoring sessions will still be through appointments, Deans said, with the walk-ins only comprising about one-twelfth of tutoring sessions.

“We were worried that people would get the impression that, ‘Well, if I don’t make a far enough in advance appointment, I’m never going to get in,’” Deans said.

The walk-in hour is not yet a permanent change for the Writing Center, according to Deans.

“We’re going to continue this as an experiment, at least through the end of the semester,” Deans said.

Deans said the busiest season for the Writing Center is midterms and finals week, and that last week, “every tutor was busy every hour.”

Previously, the Writing Center was available by appointment only, unless a student did not show up or the appointment block was unfilled, Deans said.

“People were having a hard time getting appointments because they were booking up two and three days in advance,” Deans said.

The Writing Center keeps three tutors on duty during the time slot, allowing a minimum of three walk-ins during the hour, more if time allows or a visit is short, according to Deans.

Gabriela Disla, a first-semester undecided major, said though she hasn’t taken any writing classes, walk-in hours make it more likely she’ll use the resource.

“They should have that all day long,” Disla said.

Jennifer Saintil, a fifth-semester marketing major, said she has some doubts.

“I see that they want it to be a good thing, (but) I see where the problem lies,” Saintil said. “Not everyone who comes will receive help.”

According to Deans, in the meantime, the Writing Center will continue to improve itself, a process it’s been engaged in for some time.

“We refined our practices over the last 10 years, to get to where we are now,” Deans said.  “As long as we continue getting traffic during that hour and as long as students say they like it, we’re going to continue it next semester but it’s a little bit tentative at this point since we’ve just been trying it for (the past) week.”


Shelby Haydu is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at shelby.haydu@uconn.edu.