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- Writing Center Administrator Guidance in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic (HTML)
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In 2020, institutions of higher education worldwide began grappling with the spread of the coronavirus. Little was known about transmission of the virus at first, and countries moved to lockdowns and travel restrictions. For Writing Center Administrators (WCAs) in the United States, early- to mid-March marked the beginning of widespread uncertainty over how in-person writing center programming could or should continue. Those early months were spent transitioning programs online and adapting to a “new normal” as many campuses moved to remote learning options through the end of the semester and into the summer. By April it was known that the coronavirus spread through the air via droplets and aerosols. Mask mandates and stay-at-home orders were implemented across the country to curb transmissions. Around that time, universities seeking strong fall enrollments began to indicate at least some level of in-person programming for the fall semester. Unsure of how to proceed when a vaccine was still not available, WCAs began looking to each other for guidance on addressing their concerns with upper administration on their campuses. It is here our story of collaboration begins. We were among the WCAs seeking guidance and assurance about how to proceed with programming while prioritizing the safety of students, faculty, and staff. Below we share stories of our own institutional and personal contexts in spring and summer of 2020 and the impetus for our collaboration on a position statement.
Brooks-Gillies, M., Bell, L., Dembsey, J. M., & Theobald, D. (2020). Writing center administrator guidance in response to the COVID-19 pandemic: The progression of a position Statement. The Peer Review, 5(1).