Math, writing centers wary of cuts

Officials with the Math Assistance Center and the Writing Center are sitting tight while Interim University President Kathy Wilbur flirts with budget cuts,

“The problem is that we just don’t know,” said Mary Ann Crawford, director of the Writing Center and a professor of English. “The Writing Center works on a tight budget already. So any cuts will affect the Writing Center.”

Reggie Becker, director of the Math Assistance Center, also is waiting for the announcement of a change-up in funds.

With Wilbur asking for departmental reports with scenarios of 3, 6 and 9 percent cuts prepared for her review, Crawford said if it happens, students on staff will be affected.

“With a staff of mainly students, its not like we can consolidate,” she said.

Crawford said her staff would not only lose money, but also experience, which comes as a byproduct of time spent working with students.

“We do see those hours affecting the students in their professional development, too,” Crawford said. “We have close to 50 students on staff.”

Staff at the math center, on the other hand, would see schedules change.

“A lot of our hours during the day are by graduate students. So it probably wouldn’t affect that as much,” Becker said. “If we have less money, we would have fewer paid tutors, so we would have to move the grad students around.”

Who gets the help?

While both centers serve all students, the directors say their centers impact freshmen the most.

“As much as 10 percent of on-campus students come at one time or another,” Crawford said.

Becker said they tend to be underclassmen.

“I think that the freshmen and sophomores tend to take more math, so they use it more,” he said.

Krystin Martinez, a Saginaw sophomore, hopes the centers do not lose money.

“I would be thoroughly upset,” she said. “Overall, I have nothing but good things to say about the writing and math centers.”