I think that it is crucial for a university community to value the work of a writing center and its tutors because it places importance on the development of writers within the school. If the greater mission of Duke and other universities is to educate its students in an environment of higher learning, a studio that promotes the growth and exploration of writing skills for its students is invaluable.Writing plays a cornerstone role in almost every academic field as well as “real-world” interactions– it is a primary way in which we express ourselves as scholars and as individuals.
To promote a writing-center-positive environment, we need to move away from the idea of a tutor as a remedial aid (ie. only for those who need help and are producing bad academic work) towards the idea of a tutor as a tool for personal enhancement (ie. for those who seek help enhancing their academic work and writing process). We need a general “glass half full” attitude surrounding the writing studio reminding students and patrons that it is helping them improve upon their work instead of tearing it apart and destroying it (under the notion that it must be bad in the first place).
Perhaps a PR campaign is in order… something playing off this “natural enhancement” ad?
Because NOTHING is sexier than writing confidence.