Underutilized campus resources aim to assist

Featured Image: Student worker Kaitlyn Duswalt showcases the unsung library resource that allows students to request an item, such as a particular book, to be added to the library’s collection. Lily Reslink | Marlin Chronicle

Virginia Wesleyan University offers many opportunities and resources to students, but not all of these resources share equal time in the spotlight. 

Among the resources that fly under the radar are the campus library, the Learning Center and UREC equipment checkout.

This underutilization can be linked to a variety of factors. These include a fear of being judged due to the stigma of looking for help and the belief that using these resources is difficult or complicated.

First-year students may especially lack the information required to get the most out of these resources. Although lots of information is shared during orientation, it often becomes lost in the shuffle of this overwhelming period.

In the Hofheimer Library, there is an array of resources provided to students that go beyond its most common uses of printing, independent study and the occasional book checkout. To name a few, students can use the citation help provided by librarians, reserve a study room, request for a specific book or DVD to be purchased, receive research help, unlock access to databases and check out the books and DVDs already available within the library.

For its in-person services, the Hofheimer Library provides physical spaces such as study rooms, which can be reserved by students as they need. These study rooms function as multipurpose rooms in which students can have group sessions, watch films and do anything else they need to get their academic work completed.

Outside the building, various types of online assistance are offered to students. On the VWU website and in the Hofheimer Library tab, a search bar allows anyone to discover what the library has available to be checked out. Citation help for several styles, research help and faculty support in reference to miscellaneous items can all also be found in this tab.

The Learning Center, as the name suggests, is an appendage on campus that specializes in assisting students in their academic affairs. Located on the second floor of Clarke Hall, the Learning Center also provides an array of resources outside the study space.

Academic Support Specialist Chelsea Jones speaks out on the mission and mentality of the Learning Center. “I always tell students there is no dumb question, I am a true believer of that, none of us came into this space knowing everything,” Jones said.

When it comes to getting help, Jones said, “I always encourage students to ask sooner rather than later.”

Receiving academic help can often come with a negative stigma, but Jones said she wants students to know that there is strength found in asking questions. “I want students to understand that your academic success depends on your ability to ask questions,” Jones said.

As for what the Learning Center offers, Jones said that it serves the purpose of the campus’s main academic hub. “There are subject tutors to help students get the academic support they need,” Jones said.

In terms of new developments for the center, Jones said, “We will be starting group tutoring sessions which will involve students who have taken the course already.”

Lastly, a different form of assistance is the UREC equipment checkout. This equipment checkout gives students the opportunity to freely use different sports equipment and related items as they wish. While providing students with this equipment may not assist with students’ academics, it helps with students having a better college experience.

First-year Gino Meienschein, a campus cooperative worker in the UREC office said the checkout process is easy. “You come in, sign out the equipment, leave your ID and use the equipment as long as you please,” Meienschein said.

However, student worker Meienschein said that the usage of this checkout center “could be higher,” and “there are a few that come in throughout the day that use the equipment.”

Director of Recreation and Wellness Steve Riegler added insight on the ease of the UREC Equipment Checkout. “It’s fairly simple and straightforward on the Instagram page (@vwurec) linktree to check out larger items such as kayaks, stand-up paddle boards, surfboards, camping equipment,” Riegler said.

“There is an option to select the equipment you want to get, we can make sure we have the equipment and that it is usable,” Riegler said.


By Isaac Fick