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The HUB: SCU's Paperless Writing Center

Monday, Jun. 1, 2009

Dolores LaGuardia wants students to view the new HUB Writing Center as a positive resource. This is seen in the HUB's mission of "celebrating and supporting SCU writers and writing." As HUB director and sustainability fanatic, she has gone to great lengths to make the writing center as sustainable as possible.

The HUB began as a proposal from the SCU English Department to strengthen and celebrate the culture of writing throughout the University community and to support and enhance individual writers' teaching and learning. It currently offers scheduled and drop-in tutoring sessions, and will be fully operational in Fall 2009, offering a variety of tutoring services, occasional workshops, and writing resources. As the HUB evolves, LaGuardia hopes to expand programs held at the HUB to include poetry slams, fiction readings, special interest book groups, and more.

In the development of the HUB, LaGuardia made two controversial decisions. One: to have a paperless writing center, and two: to be handout-free. A Smart Board, one of three on campus, has made going paperless easier. This interactive technology allows students to project papers from their laptop onto a whiteboard via Bluetooth technology. Editing occurs on the whiteboard and written comments are saved and transferred back to the student's laptop. The Smart Board has additional audio capabilities to record discussions. Writing handouts are available for students on Angel and will soon be accessible on Second Life.

The HUB is located in Varsi Hall 145, where Media Services was once housed. Many aspects of the HUB's development reflect the community LaGuardia is trying to create: furniture was donated by a Bay Area store, ROTC students painted the walls, and Graduate business faculty donated painting supplies and pizza. Writing and grammar books, available for student use, were donated by faculty.

There are also unique characteristics of the HUB to reflect the entire SCU community--not solely students. English Professor Sherry Booth had the idea of asking faculty to contribute one book that changed their life the “Books that Matter” collection. A separate bookshelf will be filled with these titles, with the individual's name plated on the inside cover. A ribbon cutting ceremony will be held in October, which was selected because October 20 is the National Day of Writing. Staff members can take advantage of drop in editing available for them as well as a staff reading group, which will meet at the HUB.

Many thoughtful decisions were made about sustainable operations at the HUB. LaGuardia has also designated it as a plastic water bottle free zone, so students will either need to bring reusable water bottles or use provided compostable cups. Tutors are asked to bring in one or two reusable mugs for their personal use. A hot/cold water dispenser is available within the center. A plaque recognizing donors is even made from recycled glass!

Stop by the HUB to take advantage of the writing resources available on campus, or simply to enjoy the sustainable facilities. If you have any ideas for programming or events, contact Dolores LaGuradia at

View a few photos taken at the HUB Writing Center.

By Jenny Gore, '09, Sustainability Intern

Tags: Curriculum, Program Highlights



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