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University of Southern Indiana Writers Room

To: Dr. Lee
From: Jessica King & Cecil King Neville III
Date: October 25, 2016
We request permission to use the fiscal operating budget of the University of Southern Indiana to
implement a new budget for the Writers Room. This budget will fix the scheduling and payment
problems inherent to the student workers who teach students how to write. In addition, we
request a review to be made of the location of the Writers Room and the IEP writing center.
Finally, we request that the Writers Room gets the credit it is due, since the Writers Room
services all majors, but has no official operating budget.
Present system
The Writers Room operates out of Academic Skills and employs students at minimum wage,
with no more than twenty hours per week. Also, the English 490 class is the primary recruiting
pool for these tutors. In addition, the schedule for the Writers Room is from 9am-9pm Monday
to Thursday and 9am-3pm Friday. Also, we are not open on the weekends, even though we
accept online submissions and require a forty eight hour notice to complete these corrections.
There are also several problems with the IEP schedule, since they only work one tutor at a time
from 12-1:30 pm and from 2-4:30pm.
Problems with the present system

Budget restrictions
o Student workers can only work twenty hours per week at minimum wage.
o The Writers Room has no official budget.
o Instead, it is part of Academic Skills and their budget.
o The separate departments of the University do not pay in to the Writers Room
Size and Location
o The Writers Room and the IEP writing center have locations that do not service
their students well.
The Writers Room is near to the Science classrooms, rather than a central
location, which would be the more helpful location.
The Writers Room is hard to find, since it is in a corner of the Education
center that gets little foot traffic, outside of the occasional student looking
for their Math class.
IEP writing center is so small as to not accommodate multiple tutors,
which would better service IEP.
IEP is also tucked into a corner of the Orr Center which is close to offices
and classrooms, which students have difficulty finding.

o Teachers often send students to the Writers Room only for help with remedial
writing problems.
o They should send students for help with the whole writing process, from research
to organizing ideas, to proofreading.
o The other problem created by minimum wages and hours is that experienced and
well-trained tutors are difficult to retain, which lends to the overall lack of good
reputation of the Writers Room.
o The perceived job description of the tutors is that tutors are meant to correct
papers, not to teach students the skills to write well or to proofread.
o The other problem is that, due to student worker hours restrictions, we are not
open enough to service everyone well.
o This leads to more reputation problems, since all we typically have time for is
fixing mechanical errors.
Advertising and Independence
o Advertising for the English 490 class is all but non-existent.
o This happens because Academic Skills is not part of a department which has
standard classes, which would serve as an advertising pool for tutors.
o Teachers do not advertise the resources available to students to help them in their
studies, such as the Writers Room.
o The Foreign Language Center has a whole floor, a separate budget, and a good
The reason their system works is that the teachers make you get help at the
Foreign Language Center, regardless of your level of success.
It also works because there are no levels of bureaucracy in the way of it
By not being part of the Academic Skills bureaucracy, the reputation and
effectiveness of the Foreign Language Center is preserved.
o An independent Writers Room
o Sufficient tutors to meet a week long schedule.
o A fair wage- different for undergraduate students, graduate students, and people
skilled at teaching IEP.
o Eliminate online submissions.
o Acknowledgement of the Writers Room as an independent and valuable resource.
o A fair budget, which is clear and well-defined
o Good advertisement from teachers and students
o A central location, which can better serve everyone
Solution the project will suggest
o Fix funding problems
Add it to the tuition
Re-organizing the payment of tuition to reflect the students best interests
Online class rates
Parking rates

Soda drinking tracker stickers

o Fix structural problem causing the funding problem
Eradicate Academic Skills
Establish subject based tutoring for each subject as a separate budget line
o Advertising
Fix location problems
By re-establishing supremacy of each academic department over its own
subjects tutoring
Fix reputation, in the eyes of teachers and students
o Interview
o Research
Proposed Schedule
o October 25th: Email Dr. Odney and Emi about interviews
o October 25th: Take pictures of the Writers Room, IEP writing center, and other
subject based tutoring location
o November 2nd: Interview Dr. Odney
o November 2nd: Interview Emi, head of IEP
o November 2nd: Interview Academic Skills tutors
o November 2nd: Interview Language Lab tutors
o Cecil Neville III is a seasoned tutor, both for the Writers Room and for IEP. He is
also the Vice President of the Student Writers Union, the President of USIs
Sigma Tau Delta, the International English Honors Society, and the long-time
linchpin of the students of the English department.
o Jessica King is an apprentice tutor, a published essayist, non-fiction editor for
Fishhook, and an English major.
We are exuberantly searching much needed solutions to the problem of how to best serve
the student body and its writing instruction needs.

We are open to more suggestions for the following process.

Interview Dr. Odney, head of the Writers Room and Dr. Emilijiya Zlatovska, the
head of IEP
o Why is the Writers Room run the way it is?
o Student worker restrictions- why does it work that way?
o How much does Dr. Odney rely on the English 490 class to fill tutoring
o What happens when the quota is not met?
Why is there no funding if IEP is involved? (Saudis)
Why is there no additional funding from the many departments the Writers Room
Why is the Writers Rom in a bad location?
What do Foreign Language tutors make?
How many hours can they work?
Ask the same questions for subject based tutoring, such as Math and Chemistry.