RMC students who frequent the library may have noticed the new addition to the north side of the first floor: three rooms for individual study groups, a large open floor for tutoring, and a new and improved Writing Center. Previously located at Tyler 207, the Writing Center is an academic resource available to RMC students who need or seek help at any stage in the writing process. The new location, more central to campus, is expected to help increase the number of students who take advantage of this educational resource.
The new location is expected to increase traffic to the Writing Center, with the ultimate goal to help more students and produce better writers and thinkers. As opposed to the old location in Tyler Hall, the new facility features two tutoring rooms, one with a view of campus and one with more privacy. While both the new and the old location have shelves full of writing resources and formatting guidelines, the new location also has more desks and
more workspace, as well as a reception desk. As with the old location, the new location also features four iMacs loaded with Microsoft Office and Adobe Photoshop.
A $25,000 grant from the Charles M. Bair Family Trust is what made this new center possible. The Trust was established in order to commemorate one of Montana’s most influential families, the Bairs. According to their website, “The Bair family’s dedication to philanthropic work in Montana is carried on, in accordance with the wishes of the last surviving member of the family, Alberta M. Bair, who died in May 1993.”
Founded in 2011 by Professor Nick Plunkey and the English Department, the Writing Center has helped RMC students for years in all sorts of different kinds of writing. According to its mission statement, the Writing Center “provides one-on-one consulting for student writers across disciplines, assisting them at any stage in the writing process to improve their writing and learning.” To Plunkey, being so flexible in tutoring styles and subjects is what makes the Writing Center unique as an academic resource. “The Writing Center is unique in that it focuses on facilitating skills (writing and reading) rather than offering knowledge. In a tutoring session, tutors take interest in, and respect, students’ ideas rather than give students their own.”
Writing Center tutors look forward to working with more students and becoming more active in students’ learning.