The Fred Meijer Center for Writing and Michigan Authors is founded on the principle that writing is a social act and that a writer’s peers – whether undergraduate, graduate, or faculty/staff – can, with proper training and support, provide a writer with valuable writing assistance. Therefore, we value:
Just as Grand Valley strives for excellence, the The Fred Meijer Center for Writing and Michigan Authors values time and space for writers to practice the writing process; we believe this perspective is essential to a writer’s confidence and personal success in writing. We train our writing consultants, therefore, with the skills and knowledge necessary to approach writing from a process-oriented mindset so as to pass that perspective on to other writers and fellow thinkers. Through this value, the center hopes to be an instrumental resource for our clients to become more intentional writers.
The center greatly values the dignity of all who enter our space, use our services, and/or work for our center. We aim to not only respect the dignity of others, but also promote and nurture the dignity that may yet be acknowledged in an individual. By valuing dignity, we hope to maintain the integrity of writers, their peers, and their sources of expert perspective (i.e. academic citations, formatting, and audience expectations). Our writing consultants, therefore, are trained to embody the liberal education components of dialogue and collaboration, which require empathy, constructive positive feedback, and respect toward the writer and their identified needs and goals. By aligning ourselves with this desired framework, it is essential that the center stay grounded in this value of dignity.
The Fred Meijer Center for Writing and Michigan Authors aims to create a safe environment for the free exchange of ideas. We ground much of our consulting work not only in theory, research, and the field’s best practices, but also in curiosity, inquiry, and critical thinking. We ask that our consultants learn respectful strategies for supporting writers in their quest for new knowledge. We take on the responsibility to support writers in their acquisition of descriptive, declarative, and procedural knowledge; therefore, we promote active and engaged curiosity at all levels of the writing process for consultants and authors.
The center aligns itself with Grand Valley in valuing all identities, perspectives, and backgrounds and aims to create a safe and inclusive environment for everyone who enters. We employ students from multiple disciplines, language backgrounds, educational experiences, and personal cultures – not only for the purposes of supporting the interdisciplinary nature of writing, but also to promote and grow an inclusive and diverse community of writers, thinkers, and members.
In the same way that we aim for inclusiveness, the center actively promotes community in all aspects of our work – community in an individualized consultation, community at our locations, community online, and collaborative communities on campus. At the university level, the center functions as an intellectual contact zone, where students can discuss, challenge, and respond to feedback from trained peer consultants. By creating a space where all writers are encouraged to engage with their peers, the center champions creating communities on local and global scales. One of the essential features to building community is empathy, which includes an attention to listening, judgment free consulting styles, adaptable strategies and practices, and awareness and acknowledgement of one’s personal and subjective biases. Through empathy, the Fred Meijer Center for Writing and Michigan Authors aims to build a healthy community full of independent, active thinkers with the drive to promote the love of writing beyond our physical spaces.
The Fred Meijer Center for Writing and Michigan Authors considers power to be an instrumental feature in one’s belief of their own capacity to approach, complete, and succeed in any writing project; therefore, the center values our role in the empowerment of emerging, practiced, or expert writers. Through our pedagogically sound consulting techniques, consultants provide writers with the time and space to celebrate success, identify concerns, develop helpful strategies, and grow a personalized voice and style so as to continue the writing process beyond the walls of the Writing Center. We make it our mission to be a supportive place and service for writers, who want or need to acknowledge and grow their own agency over any writing project or future writing goal.
Through our innovative collaborative efforts and our critical awareness of our clients’ needs, The Fred Meijer Center for Writing and Michigan Authors hopes to pin adaptability at the forefront of our mission and of our daily work. Not only do we orient every individual consultation toward each writer’s own specific needs and goals, we focus on adapting our training, practices, and services to the constant evolving qualities and identities of our clients. Additionally, we aim to adapt to changing technology needs, student expectations, and evolving university goals. The center offers multiple avenues of writing support to serve the campus community, which include face-to- face consultations, online consultations, group consultations, classroom support, electronic resources, and multiple locations at our various GVSU campuses.
Inclusive Language Resources
Many GVSU programs, services, and departments share similar values and have created resources and handouts to assist students/faculty/staff, such as:
Milton E Ford LGBT Resource Center - Best Classroom Policies for creating an inclusive space
Disability Support Services - Frequently Asked Questions about inclusive policies
*Dialectical Inclusiveness and Language Diversity*
In alignment with members of the National Council of Teachers of English, the Linguistic Society of America, and the Conference on College Composition and Communication’s declaration of Students’ Right to Their Own Language (2014), the Fred Meijer Center for Writing and Michigan Authors accepts, validates, and promotes all language varieties represented by the students we serve. Our program does not judge any language or dialect as inferior or incorrect.
Furthermore, our program agrees: “We affirm the students’ right to their own patterns and varieties of language–the dialects of their nurture or whatever dialects in which they find their own identity and style. Language scholars long ago denied that the myth of a standard American dialect has any validity. The claim that any one dialect is unacceptable amounts to an attempt of one social group to exert its dominance over another. Such a claim leads to false advice for speakers and writers, and immoral advice for humans. A nation proud of its diverse heritage and its cultural and racial variety will preserve its heritage of dialects."
The Fred Meijer Center for Writing and Michigan Authors…
- Aims to actively promote not only the acquisition and mastery of discipline-specific styles in writing, but also the acknowledgement, development, and mastery of one’s home language or dialect.
- Does not acknowledge any inherent linguistic hierarchy among the many varieties of English.
- Aligns itself with the GVSU community in stressing the importance of students becoming versed in the language of social and cultural power: Standard Edited Written English (SEWE).
- Recognizes that it is theoretically and pedagogically proven that empowerment and mastery of one’s home language provides a better opportunity for mastery of another language or language variety.
- Believes it is through the empowerment of one’s home language that writers and speakers from any background feel valued and more confident about learning new knowledge and skills.
- Trains writing consultants to respect all language varieties, believing that when individuals feel respected, they are more likely to succeed.
Have other questions? Stop in and visit! Or call us at 331-2922.