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Write in the Center of Campus

This year, I have had the wonderful opportunity to start working in AQ’s Writing Center.  The Writing Center is a resource on campus that helps students become better writers and more confident in their writing by working with them on a personal and interactive level.  Students are encouraged to bring in any kind of writing they are working on, no matter what stage of the writing process they are in.

As a first year on campus, I had heard little about the Writing Center and never utilized it.  It wasn’t until my sophomore year that I began to hear more about all the great things the Writing Center can do.  I had a friend who was enrolled in the class that teaches and trains students to become Writing Center consultants.  She nominated me to be in the course, and a year later I am finishing up the class.

What I think makes the Writing Center so great and so effective is that the people who are consultants are also students.  We are able to be empathetic and understand the struggles and challenges of writing in college because we are experiencing it too.  We are in the same boat as the clients that we are serving.  I have had clients that have come in with the exact same assignments I’ve done for professors.  Having that first hand experience and knowledge is how the Writing Center is able to be successful and how it has been able to help so many students.  After each consultation, we asked that our clients fill out feedback forms.  We request that people write down suggestions, what they thought was helpful about the consultation, what they thought was not helpful, and just anything that can help us improve what we do.  Reading these feedback forms is a treat; sometimes we find out we’re helping our clients in ways we didn’t know and they express how appreciative they are.  An example of this is how one client had never thought to have someone read her paper to her.  Sometimes consultants will read a clients paper to them so the client can hear their own words and experience their writing in a new way.  It can help the client hear how their message is received.  It was a basic technique that helped her more than she thought it would.

Being a consultant has also made me a better writer.  In the past, I used to hate having to revise my papers or have other people read over my writing.  I was protective over my words and had this idea that what I had written was fine just the way it is.  But, I’ve learned that revisions and work shopping and getting feedback is not a punishment.  It is a way to simply become better.  Asking for help and going to the Writing Center should not be seen as a weakness or that a writer isn’t good at writing.   It shows that a writer cares about their work enough to want to make it the best it can be.

The Writing Center is another example of how much Aquinas cares about the people that call it home.  We want our Saints to succeed in everything that they do and we try to offer as many resources to reach that success.  It’s not secret that AQ students are beyond capable, but it’s also nice to know that we have the support when we need it.

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