Tutoring, Minus Bigotry! LGBT Writers, SafeZone Tutors, and Brave Spaces within the Rural Writing Center from Praxis: A Writing Center Vol.19 No.1
This study has been approved by the Institutional Review Board, protocol AS-16-99. At Oklahoma State University, SafeZone tutors are trained to serve as liaisons between the LGBT community and the writing center. Few writing center studies have considered the role of SafeZone tutors within rural writing centers, especially when the rural writing center takes up the role of a safe/brave space within a rural campus. A safe/brave space provides a space for marginalized voices, does not allow bigotry, and encourages difficult and challenging conversations. Within a rural location and conservative climate, how do SafeZone tutors interpret their own work? How do students interpret conversations and collaborations with the SafeZone tutor within the broader context of the writing center? Do SafeZone tutors within a rural university’s writing center consider themselves part of a safe/brave space? Through interviews with SafeZone tutors and through surveying student reactions, this study argues that the rural writing has the potential to become a safe/brave space.