1. (Linguistic) antiracism. We are an explicitly anti-oppressive space: we are trained to see how oppression—especially linguistic racism—operates in our space, and how to transform our space into an antiracist one. By "linguistic racism," we mean racism based on the language or language variety a person speaks (for example, African-American Vernacular English or Spanglish). We have learned through scholars like Gloria Anzaldua, April Baker-Bell, Vershawn Ashanti Young, Suresh Canagarajah and the writing professors who authored the landmark National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) resolution "Students' Right To Their Own Language" that all languages are equal, and that the racism that speakers and writers of color experience based on their linguistic variety cannot be eliminated by eliminating that variety; rather, racism itself must be eliminated.
2. A “Communication Culture.” We exist to support a vibrant communication skills culture on campus. We are part of SLU’s robust effort to graduate the strongest possible communicators to thrive in a 21st century world of complex communication environments.
3. Peer learning. We believe in the theory of peer learning: that students have as much to learn from each other as they do from their professors. This is why all of our tutors are undergraduates themselves. Peers can be excellent resources for each other, and the WORD Studio puts this educational theory into practice.
4. Empowerment. We give you the tools you need to make decisions as a writer and speaker. In this way, we don’t just work on the paper in front of us; we work on the writer behind the paper. We aim to have you leave the tutorial feeling empowered to apply what you’ve learned to every future assignment in college—and beyond.
5. Compassion. We are a staff trained in the emotional dimension of instruction: we understand that learning new skills is as much an emotional process as it is cognitive. All of our instruction is informed by emotional intelligence so we can support the whole student.
Land Acknowledgement Statement
The WORD Studio acknowledges that the land currently occupied by St. Lawrence University is the traditional territory of the Kanienʼkehá꞉ka, or Mohawk, Nation of the Haudenosaunee, or Iroquois, Confederacy, who have sought respectful and reciprocal relationships with the land since time immemorial. We understand that no statement will ever live up to or make up for the violence, trauma, and systemic oppression that these communities have faced. As such, as individuals and as tutors, we are committed to the process of creating more respectful relationships with the land and indigenous communities of the North Country in order to grow and heal from our exploitative and violent past. We understand that this work is never officially done and must always be evolving and persisting, as our relationships with the Haudenosaunee Confederacy can always grow stronger. As such, this statement will be under constant revision as this work continues. Let us work to move forward in, as well as teach, justice.
Drafted by WORD Studio tutors, May 2021