SGA to implement new writing center starting late January


Senior and SGA executive Brigid McCarthy creates the CHS Writing Center.

Kristen Gallagher

We’ve all been in this situation before: feeling almost ready to submit a research paper after reading it over countless times, but still wishing to hear someone else’s opinion before the teacher grades it. After all, it can be easy to overlook an error.

This position can be frustrating, but it can now be solved with the opening of the CHS Writing Center.

The CHS Writing Center, set to open this month, will allow students to have the opportunity for their work to be reviewed by peer editors. 

Senior and Student Government Association (SGA) Executive Brigid McCarthy of Manasquan formed the idea for a writing center in her SGA campaign platform after realizing many colleges have a similar resource available to students. Now, she is turning her plan into a reality. 

“Because of the changes that we had to deal with this year, I really wanted to spend some time doing something for myself… that would help a lot of people,” McCarthy said. “I wanted to take this opportunity… to put the time I had towards something I cared about.”

Students seeking help with their work will email McCarthy, who will then match the student with an editor. The edits will take place virtually via Google Docs, Google Meets and emails. 

The program will work by combining the powers of different clubs, including National Honor Society (NHS), SGA and the Inkblot. McCarthy is thankful for the dedication and support of others.

“Getting all the Inkblot editors on-board was so easy, and they all love to write and edit just as I do,” McCarthy said. “A big help has been the adults in this process. I have to give all due credit to Mrs. Lane of NHS and Mrs. Morgan of SGA… they’ve given me full creative freedom…. [and] they’ve both been very trusting.” 

Science teacher and SGA advisor Leah Morgan supported the idea of the writing center, but McCarthy spearheaded the project.

“Other than giving the green light and helping Brigid navigate some obstacles and brainstorm some ideas, this project has been totally put together by Brigid,” Morgan said. “She has coordinated the students, teachers and everything needed to get it off the ground. From the original proposal she pitched to Mr. Gleason to the kickoff — it has all been Brigid.”

McCarthy reached out to other students for assistance, including senior Ravenna Gemignani of Oceanport for promotional posters and logo designs.

“It’s been a while since I’ve done any graphic design work, so I wanted to help out as much as possible,” Gemignani said. “To prepare, Meg Ellis and I have been collaborating on coming up with a logo design for the writing center. I also worked with Brigid to come up with a unique color palette for the poster set.”

Sophomore Keegan Foy of Wall thinks the Writing Center will be a useful tool and she plans on using it at least once a month. Older students may recognize what a teacher looks for in a writing assignment, so Foy thinks “it is helpful to have a student who has been through the same classes checking it over.” 

In the future, McCarthy plans on providing editing resources, creating a virtual workshop, and engaging a more diverse edit board in addition to the current Inkblot editors. Though she is concerned about student participation in the Writing Center, she keeps a positive attitude.

“It is such a hard thing to ask for help in general,” McCarthy said. “I think a hardship will come with the engagement, but I think it’s one that I’m ready to approach.”

Morgan, however, sees the Writing Center as being successful for years to come.

“I hope that students will be able to take advantage of this opportunity to improve their writing skills for assignments, tests and college applications,” Morgan said. “I also hope that the Writing Center will be a great legacy for Brigid to leave CHS.”