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Writing Center safe space for student writers

writing center
Lamar University's Writing Center is located on the ground floor of Gray Library.

The Lamar Writing Center, located on the first floor of Lamar University’s Gray Library, is a safe space for students to get collaborative help on their essays.

“The Writing Center is an academic support service that students pay for as part of their tuition and fees, so that when they need it, they can come and see our staff for various kinds of support in their writing intensive tasks,” director Casey Ford said.

The Writing Center focuses on writing of all disciplines, not just English essays, and offers a multitude of session types in order to best serve students. With sessions ranging from 30 minutes to 60 minutes, students have the option to schedule in-person appointments, online appointments that operate through Blackboard Collaborate, and asynchronous appointments.

“I think of us as a collaborative space,” Ford said. “What our coaches do is collaborate with clients so that their ideas emerge on the page in a more elegant way, even if it’s only slightly more elegant than it was before. Without that, I think the Writing Center would not exist — what makes us who we are is this permission that we give students to come to us with their complicated ideas and feel safe doing that.”

Ford and the Writing Center coaches, who are comprised of Lamar undergraduate and graduate students, have been working to spread awareness about their services. They are making teachers more aware of how the center can assist their students, such as recommending that they come during any part of the writing process.

 “We’re here to help (students) even if they don’t have anything on the page yet,” Kensi MacCammond, a four-year Writing Center employee, said.

Undergraduate coach Skylar Colburn said it is important that everyone who visits the Writing Center feels welcomed and supported.

“My main goal as a member of the center is to ensure that every client leaves feeling as though they have been helped in some way,” she said.

Colburn said the Writing Center coaches help students with brainstorming, citations, syntax, and tone and flow.

However, Ford also wants students to view the Writing Center as a discovery space.

“I think it’s a place where students come to talk about their ideas,” Ford said. “I often see this happen in Writing Center sessions, where students realize that they have something important to say. So, I think it’s a space where language and ideas are kind of created and found.”

The Writing Center is open Monday-Thursday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Category: News