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The McDaniel College Writing Center empowers students of diverse abilities and backgrounds to claim ownership of the identity of “writer” and supports a vibrant community of writers.
At McDaniel College Writing Center, we positively support students at every step of the writing process. As students ourselves, we bring our own experiences of the writer’s journey to those we serve. We meet the particular needs of everyone who comes to the Writing Center, assisting those students in discovering the critical thinking and writing skills they already possess, helping them hone these skills, and guiding them to produce writing they enjoy creating and are comfortable sharing.
At the McDaniel College Writing Center, we value:
We know that learning is cyclical and that each person comes to the Writing Center at a different stage in their own learning cycle. We want students to set their own goals, and our role is to support them as they achieve them. We recognize the importance of learning from failure and embrace the mindset of “not yet.”
Freedom of Inquiry
We create a space for students to test out their own ideas without fear of judgment or condemnation. We welcome viewpoints and ideas that challenge us and push us to consider new ways of thinking for ourselves and those we serve.
We want to understand our peers’ humanity and bring a spirit of curiosity, rather than assumptions, to our interactions.
We want to honor the voices of students, faculty, staff, and the community and the stories they share.
We believe that the most creative writing is only possible when writers embrace the inherent diversity of multiple Englishes, sources of wisdom beyond the Western canon, and multiple modes of expression.
We honor the trust placed in us by our community by seeking continuous professional development and training, but we reject the myth that professionalism demands the sacrifice of individuality, diversity of expression or dress, or cultural context.
We believe that Universal Design for Learning not only offers the highest-quality tutoring experience but also that our understanding of the world is enhanced when we open ourselves to many possibilities for perceiving it.
We believe that learning should be fun and seek to find joy in challenge and in overcoming challenge.
For our students, we seek to:
- Honor and amplify student voices and experiences.
- Support student growth holistically and help them achieve the goals that they set.
- Provide space and resources for learning free from grades or judgment.
- Guide students in developing writing skills, facility with code-meshing, and navigating the conventions of academic writing.
For our faculty and staff, we seek to:
- Understand and meet the needs of faculty and staff.
- Communicate openly and honestly about the experiences of student writers.
- Establish and maintain partnerships that strengthen our campus community.
- Support the development of writing assignments and classroom lessons that serve students from a range of writing backgrounds.
- Offer embedded writing support in writing-intensive classrooms across the disciplines.
For our Westminster and Carroll County local community, we seek to:
- Listen and provide the support that is most desired.
- Establish and maintain partnerships that foster our mutual growth.
- Use and share our resources to benefit the entire local community of readers and writers.
For ourselves, we seek to:
- Train in tutoring best practices, including those focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion.
- Recruit tutors who reflect the diversity of identity, experience, beliefs, and personalities of the overall McDaniel student body.
- Connect with the larger field of Learning Centers and academic support.
- Embrace experimentation and a trickster mindset that foster innovation.
Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion
This statement reflects our current understanding of issues related to diversity, equity, inclusion, and linguistic justice. As such, this is a living document, which will change as our office evolves through education, self-reflection, and action.
The Writing Center stands with all those engaged in the work of diversity, equity, and inclusion, including those specifically engaged in the work of anti-racism, decolonization, and ending the impact of white supremacy on the academy.
We acknowledge that, as part of larger institutions, fields such as linguistics, rhetoric & composition, and writing center studies have historically been and continue to be implicated in diminishing linguistic diversity and silencing the voices of marginalized communities.
We recognize that socio-cultural experiences (e.g., race, ethnicity, geographic region, class, age, gender, sexuality, and gender expression) affect how writers engage with language and the choices they make in composing. That recognition guides how we support our community of writers.
We practice Universal Design for Learning and create learning environments that serve all students.
We commit to honoring students’ rights to their own language, challenging the myth of a single standard academic English, and working towards linguistic justice. holding our fields accountable to their own commitments to linguistic and racial justice.
We pledge to work with students to discover their own voices, celebrating their linguistic diversity and the Englishes they bring with them to our Center, supporting their ability to produce persuasive and purposeful writing for diverse audiences.
We seek to grow by listening to our colleagues, students, faculty, and staff of color, continuing to educate ourselves on how best to incorporate anti-racism and inclusive practices in our work as academic support professionals, and taking time annually to reflect on and assess our internal culture, including considerations of changing DEI priorities.
We request to be held accountable as individuals and as a learning center, and we pledge to foster our own ability to listen non-defensively to those critiques.We uphold McDaniel’s First Principles and see as central to the Writing Center’s inclusive commitment to “provide instruction in fundamental skills so that students can express themselves for their own satisfaction and to the larger community.”