After many years in the lower level of Angell Hall, the Sweetland Peer Writing Center has moved to the second floor of the Shapiro Undergraduate Library.
The new space is the culmination of nearly two years of planning, supported by the work of a small committee of peer writing consultants, led by consultant Regina Chen ‘18, who focused her Minor in Writing capstone project on writing center design. Her work included research into effective learning space design, as well as surveys of writing center clients and focus groups with writing consultants about their needs and preferences for the space.
Accessibility was a key consideration in the space design, with adjustable-height tables and some quieter spaces where noise and light levels can be adjusted to meet students’ needs. There are a variety of seating options, and our handouts are within easy reach of students using a wheelchair. The center includes a reservable multimodal collaboration room for students working on digital group projects. After Sweetland consulting hours, the center remains open to provide additional study space.
We share the new space with the library Peer Information Consultants, who support students with research projects. It’s a logical collaboration, and one that will continue to grow, as our consultants get to know each other better.
Because of our new location in the library, our staff development focus this fall has been on campus collaborations. We’ve hosted presenters from the English Language Institute, the Trotter Multicultural Center, Services for Students with Disabilities, the Department of Public Safety, LSA Academic Advising, and Wolverine Wellness.
Also this fall, the Peer Writing Center opened a new satellite in the Trotter Multicultural Center on State Street. We’re excited to be part of the programming in that building and to learn more about cross-cultural communication from Trotter staff.