IUS Writing Center sees increased traffic during COVID-19

The Writing Center created more ways for students to engage and utilize it more remotely


Brandon Miniard

File photo of IUS Ogle Center.

Emily Owen, Staff Writer

The IU Southeast Writing Center made changes this semester to accommodate students’ schedules by adding more appointment types, due to COVID-19, and is encouraging ways for students to get involved in the upcoming semesters.

The Writing Center has seen an increase in students utilizing the writing center this semester.

Writing Center Director Leigh Ann Meyer said, “we call us bartenders without alcohol. We listen. We try to give advice as wanted or needed. Our goal is for students to become better writers and for them to be able to proofread on their own.”  

Students are using the Writing Center in four different appointment styles. The Writing Center has face-to-face appointments, e-tutoring appointments, a virtual online synchronous appointment, or a synchronous live chat appointment style. 

The e-tutoring appointment style allows students to upload papers at any time. The students usually receive feedback within 24 hours. 

For the virtual online synchronous appointment style, students can meet with a student consultant on WCONLINE to schedule an appointment. Students can meet with a consultant for up to 30 minutes. 

Taryn Hall, an academic specialist for Writing Center, discussed how these different appointment types can be beneficial to students specifically this semester because every student has a different schedule, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Writing Center set up a Zoom link during their hours of operation for students to be able to drop in at any time, if they have any questions. The code for the Zoom link is the Writing Center’s phone number, 8129412498.

They have extended their hours of operation this semester due to COVID-19. Monday and Tuesday, they are open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. They are open Wednesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

They are one of the few services on campus that are open on the weekends. They have hours on Sunday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. 

Students can get involved in the writing center by training to become consultants. In the upcoming spring semester, Meyer said students can take the ENG-W 397 course. The ENG-W 397 course is a full semester and it trains students on how to use the Writing Center. 

Rebecca Von Alleman, a senior majoring in history, is a student writing consultant at the Writing Center. 

“I love my job and I like getting to help students and getting to share my knowledge of writing is really awesome,” Alleman said. “It is a really good experience from how to work with people, to having to do secretarial work, and computer stuff. It is a good experience for your resume.” 

Another way for students to get involved is by entering writing contests that the writing center hosts. The Writing Center is hosting the common experience writing contest and the deadline for submissions is Nov. 23. The common experience writing contest has two categories, poetry and creative nonfiction. Students can submit work into both categories, but they have to be submitted separately. The winners will be announced during finals week in December.  

The Writing Center is trying to host events in the spring semester, but they do not have any specific events already planned. So far, Meyer has created a plagiarism academic honesty course in Canvas for students to access. 

The Writing Center partnered with high schools from the local area by allowing them to experience the English lab firsthand. They are allowing high school dual credit students to see what it looks like to write papers at the college level.

“We are really getting busy,” Meyer said. “We are getting these high school students who are writing college papers. We are able to give them advice and help prepare them for what writing might be like at the college level.”