IUP Kathleen Jones White Writing Center

Leigh Ann Dunning and Ben Rafoth

Safety is a concern at universities worldwide. We have contributed two documents to this online companion that demonstrate our commitment to safety in the writing center. One is a flyer for an event we held on our campus.  Staff development reaches a new level when it involves tutors from other schools. One cold February weekend, more than thirty tutors from three nearby universities gathered for the day to discuss the topic, “Writing Centers: How Safe a Space?” College and campus life are often in the news lately, with reports and opinions related to campus safety and security, including debates over trigger warnings, political correctness, micro aggressions, tolerance of hate speech, and so forth. Many of these issues relate to writing centers as safe spaces. What do tutors think about these issues?  Our emergency procedure bulletin for peer tutors and writing center staff is also important to the security and sustainability of our center. It helps guide our discussions about questions such as, Do writing center staff know what to do if there is a tornado warning? If someone in the center suddenly collapses and stops breathing? If there is a report of an active shooter? What should a tutor do if they witness a crime? We go over it in staff meetings and post it where everyone can see it.

Download the Event Flyer

Download the Staff Safety Guidelines