Writing lab is new campus hangout

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By Veronica Widman / Staff Writer

Not on your time (Allison Perez / Photo Editor)

By Veronica Widman / Staff Writer

As California continues to demand more budget cuts from its higher education system, college staff and administrators are struggling to keep up with the lack of funding.

Most of the programs at Riverside City College have been affected in one way or another by budget cuts and students have begun to realize the implications these cuts are having on campus, especially in the Writing and Reading Center.

Students who enroll in certain English courses, English as a Second Language courses or Reading courses at RCC are required to complete 18 hours of lab work for the semester, which is to be done in the center.

Before California got its hands on the program, students were allowed to complete their required hours on their own time throughout the semester.

The biggest change that has taken place in the center is the way the students are required to complete their hours.

The new policy changes require that students come in every week and complete a minimum of 72 minutes rather than completing the full 18 hours any time before the cessation of the semester, according to James Seals, the center’s instructional support specialist.

This new change, although seemingly minor, has caused more than just minor problems.

Because students are now required to attend weekly, the center has gotten tremendously busier.

“It is a state mandate and there is no leeway,” Seals said.

What does this mean for the students of RCC who attend the center?

Expect very long lines, especially during college hour.

“It has been pretty crowded in here,” said Jazmine Crane, an RCC student. “I did not have time to wait for my appointment with the instructor the last time I was in here, because I was going to be late for class.”

Crane said she has to make time to go to the Writing and Reading Center.

“Now I only come in when I am sure I have enough time to wait for however long it will take,” she said.

With only three instructors per hour and hundreds of students, there is only so much that can be done.

The previous budget cuts have already caused the center to make changes to its hours of operation.

The center used to be open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. but is now only open from 8 a.m. until 7 p.m.

With fewer hours available for students to attend, overcrowding is becoming the main issue.

Log in sheets have been introduced as a way for students to continue their work while they wait for an instructor, as opposed to standing in a long line of students.

Seals said students are still waiting almost 40 minutes to spend the five minutes it takes with the instructor in order to get the signature they need.

There is an alternative that students should consider when faced with an extremely long wait time.

In addition to the instructors in the center, tutors are also available Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., with walk-ins welcome, and are also considered an acceptable way for students to get the sign off they need for their workshops.

The wait to see a tutor is generally much shorter than the wait to see one of the three available instructors.

Tutors are a valued part of the center and Seals encourages students to take advantage of this resource while the center continues to adapt to these new changes.

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