By HOLDEN VANDERVEER
University of Mary Washington librarian Rosemary Arneson recently made a proposal called Convergent Center Light that plans to bring services of the ITCC, such as the Speaking Center, to the university’s Stafford Campus.
“At an entirely commuter campus, marketing and awareness of the services of the libraries, as well as other campus services are critical towards our success, but it’s also a big challenge,” said Paul Boger, the Stafford library manager.
Boger’s goal is to raise student awareness on the Stafford Campus of the resources available to them.
Apart from informing students of services that are now provided at the Speaking Center, the announcement explained that services are available in room 437 of the ITCC every Monday through Friday.
Stafford students who want to set up a consultation with the Speaking Center can do so over the phone or through email.
The Stafford campus is comprised of mainly commuters, most of them on campus only when they need to be. This restricts the interaction between the students and the university.
As a result, Boger has to communicate on multiple levels in order to inform students of the services offered to them.
“I think successful communication for us depends upon determining where students are and how they are communicating,” Boger said. “Posting notices in the library alone just doesn’t cut it. To reach students, we need to communicate online, in the library, with the faculty and throughout campus.”
Boger and Arneson also hope to create green screen rooms, presentation spaces and a curriculum, which education students, as well as local Virginia teachers, can use on the Stafford campus.
To help reach their goal, Boger pitched the proposal to Speaking Center Director Anand Rao, who supported the idea.
“Well, the Speaking Center certainly never denied the resources [and] never told Stafford students they weren’t welcome to come to the Speaking Center,” Rao said. “We’ve never had the resources to staff a position there, like the writing center has been able to do in the past, but we have always been open for any student to be able to come in to the Speaking Center.”
Kenneth Moore, a student at Stafford pursuing his masters in business administration, supports the idea of being able to use the Speaking Center.
“I think it’s great that people have access to facilities that make the educational experience easier for people,” Moore said.
Graduate student Shanea Kerns also agreed that access to the Speaking Center is beneficial.
Kerns is pursuing her masters in education with the initial teacher Licensure Program within the college of education on the Stafford campus.
“I think it’s great. I mean I feel like they should offer it because this is just an extension of the downtown campus,” Kerns said.
Kerns expressed concern that Stafford students would have to drive into Fredericksburg for consultations, rather than have them at a branch office on the Stafford Campus.
“I think it will affect the number of people who will take advantage of it,” Kerns said. “I don’t think many people would go out of their way, especially since there are a lot of professionals who attend here and they have jobs,” Kerns said. “It’s hard enough to fit classes into their schedules, so it may cut down on the number of people.”
Rao explained that there are currently no plans to staff a Stafford office, but the are looking into other ways to make access more convenient for the students.
“It’s limited by staff. We have a limited number of consultants who can work, and they are undergraduate consultants, so they don’t have easy transportation out to the Stafford campus,” Rao said. “We would love to find other ways to be able to support the students of the Stafford campus. Perhaps even online consolations in the future.”