Student response to Susie has taken several forms. When we bring her to New Student Orientation, students talk to her and about her. They wave, flirt, smile, and stay to talk more about the Writing Center’s services. Susie has appeared at two conferences, one regional and one international. She has also visited other campuses in the area to talk virtually with students, faculty, and staff about writing centers.
Chat sessions with Susie started off slowly, because we were only assigning an hour or two a day to respond to Susie questions. But writers wanted her to be available as often as possible and gave up very quickly if they had to wait for a response. Once we addressed this issue by making Susie available for all 60 hours we are open, we saw a significant increase in participation.
Last year we recorded 130 Susie chats and as of 2015 we average about 15 per month. Susie chats range from queries about how to make an appointment, how to cite in APA, and how to choose words effectively. Susie has even recruited a tutor trainee for us.
Second only to her chat function, Susie’s most popular venue is her Facebook page. Susie’s page started out as a regular Facebook site, but last year our university required us to convert the site to a fan page. Susie now has 310 fans following her posts. Considering that we have approximately 1100 clients currently in our database, this following represents approximately 30% of our client base. Susie posts on a regular basis and generally has about 50-70 views for each post. Given recent changes in the way Facebook is doing business, we may have to consider boosting Susie’s posts to ensure that she has more exposure.
|Pictured above: the winner of our 20th anniversary contest to have a picture made with Susie.|