Policies

Before your first appointment with the GW Writing Center, please review our policies. These policies and procedures have been developed in collaboration with student writers, consultants, faculty and administrators to strengthen the center's commitment to ethical writing practices and to provide clear expectations of the center's mission in practice. Please feel free to contact the Writing Center with any questions.

 


Community Standard Policies

 


Appointment Policies

 


GWWC Community Standards

The GW Writing Center (GWWC) strives to be a supportive, inclusive, equitable space for all clients and employees.  By visiting or working at the Writing Center (either virtually or in-person), you commit to:

  • Speak honestly about writing.

  • Exercise mutual care and responsibility in all relationships.

  • Practice active concern for the safety, security, and well-being of each individual.

  • Foster an environment in which people can make mistakes and learn from them, even as we work to ensure that everyone is respected and supported.

  • Examine not only intention but impact.

  • Recognize the dignity and uniqueness of each individual. This principle applies to an array of cultures, belief systems, academic ranks, and academic/professional disciplines.

When GWWC members practice these community standards, their conversations can help writers gain a fuller sense of their own choices as writers and build a repertoire of strategies for engaging the world.

 


Your Rights at the GWWC

Our work at the GW Writing Center is bound by two sets of rights, which sometimes come into conflict:

  • GW student clients have the right to the academic writing support from the Center.
  • GW student clients and Writing Center employees have the right to a respectful, equitable environment free from discrimination, denigration, language of oppression, and/or harassment that is based on their national origin, race, ethnicity, religion, body size, disability, gender, gender identity and expression or sexual orientation.

If a client or employee experiences unacceptable behavior, they have the right to end the writing center appointment (or other interaction).

If you have experienced or witnessed behavior that concerns you, we want to know about it. Please reach out to a Writing Center Director using our Report Forms and someone will follow up with you promptly.

 


Unacceptable Behaviors

Unacceptable behavior is any conduct, whether in the virtual GW Writing Center or on a GW campus that:

  • Violates the GWWC policies stated on our website, including the Community Standards
  • Violates GW’s Code of Student Conduct, in particular:
    • Freedom of expression
    • Freedom from unlawful discrimination including verbal comments, that reinforce damaging social structures of domination

 

How Do I Report a Concern?

Forms for Reporting Concerns

If the incident is an emergency or medical attention is required call 911 immediately or report it directly to the GW Emergency Services at 202-994-6111. 

 

In all other cases, please contact the WC Directors in one of the following ways: 

 

* The forms do not allow for anonymity because the directors will need to know your identity to follow up with you and begin to address the issue. You may, however, ask to remain anonymous in follow-ups with those involved in the incident.

If you prefer to remain completely anonymous, there are other reporting systems outside the GW Writing Center that you can use. See “Additional GW Resources & Reporting Systems” below.

What Will Happen After I Report a Concern / File a Form?

A GW Writing Center Director will acknowledge within two (business) days that you have shared your concern, and may schedule a meeting with you to learn more. A director will update you as much as possible about the steps being taken to understand and respond to the incident. 

 

If appropriate, a director may reach out to relevant campus partners to learn more about the range of options available for responding. In some situations--such as Title IX violations, or situations where someone might be in immediate danger--the director will be obligated to report the concerns to other campus offices.

 

In most cases, the person who has engaged in unacceptable behavior may continue to access GW Writing Center services while a director reviews what happened. When possible, the director will create opportunities for the person to learn about and follow the Community Standards. In every case, the director will hold them accountable for doing so.

If I Report a Concern / File a Form, Am I Protected from Retaliation?

Yes.

Retaliation against a person who reports an allegation of discrimination or harassment or who participates in an investigation would not only violate the Center’s Community Standards, it also is prohibited by law.

 

If you are uncomfortable sharing your concern with a GW Writing Center Director, you may email the University Writing Program’s Executive Director, Gordon Mantler, at [email protected].     

 

You may also choose to report your concerns to other GW campus partners in addition to or instead of filling out a form. For more info about other GW Reporting options, see “Additional GW Resources & Reporting Systems” below.

Additional GW Resources & Reporting Systems

GW offers many pathways for students and employees to share their concerns about violations of community standards.

Bias-related concerns should be reported using the Bias Incident Form or by calling the Office for Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement at 202-994-7434.  You may also report through the University's compliance hotline, Ethicspoint.

Sexual assault, sexual- or gender-based harassment, or relationship abuse should be reported to the University’s Title IX Office, 202-994-7434.

You may also report based on your role at the university

Faculty:To report an incident, contact the Office of Faculty Affairs, 202-994-5884.  

Students:To file a discrimination complaint, contact the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities 202-994-6757 

Employees (including Student Employees): To report an incident, contact the Equal Employment Opportunity and Employee Relations Office, 202-994-9656.

 


GW Writing Center Mask Policy

The GWWC follows GW's requirements related to indoor masking. 

  1. A CLIENT may ask a CONSULTANT to wear a mask
  2. A CONSULTANT may ask a CLIENT to wear a mask

In either scenarios, both parties need to comply with the request to wear a mask, or the appointment can be terminated.

For GW community members who prefer not to wear masks, the GWWC does offer virtual appointments. 


GW Writing Center AI Policy

The GW Writing Center (GWWC) acknowledges that faculty, students, writers, and writing consultants may have different expectations, experiences, and ethical concerns around AI. In academic settings, teachers often assign writing to help students learn and to assess their learning. When used carefully and critically, some AI tools can enhance learning, while others can impede learning and assessment. AI also poses ethical challenges for all writers, as it is an extractive technology that samples texts without consulting or compensating the original authors.  

At the GWWC, our conversation-based approach helps clients strengthen their abilities as writers and become stronger editors of their own work. We do this by talking about written texts. Consultants regularly ask writers to explain the purpose and context for their work (is the piece for a course, scholarship, internship application, etc.?). Consultants also ask what resources the writer is permitted to use for the task, including AI. These policies are typically explained in a course syllabus or in the application materials.  

GWWC consultants have received extensive training to support writers at all stages of the writing process. With so many new tools emerging and so many different pedagogical responses to AI, the GWWC will use the year to discern the best approach to such training.  In the meantime, if AI use is permitted for a writing task, some consultants may offer suggestions about using AI productively and assessing it critically.  Others may decline, because they find AI to be unethical or unproductive to learning, or because they don't have enough experience with AI tools to advise the writer confidently.  

The GWWC is a learning space where we invite clients to ask questions about their responsibilities as writers. As is our practice in all areas of academic integrity, consultants will do their best to alert clients about potential ethical concerns in their work.  

The Center will use the 2023-2024 academic year to observe, listen, and discern whether to use AI to support writers and, if so, how to do so ethically and effectively. We welcome perspectives and suggestions from writers across the university, joining us in conversation about our Center and its resources. Please email [email protected].  We will update this policy draft throughout this process.


Maximum Appointment Times

Please note that all clients are limited to a maximum of 50 minutes of appointment time per day and no more than:

  • (2) Two appointments per week during the Summer
  • (3) Three appointments per week during the Fall and Spring

Working on a long-term assignment? Learn more about our long-term project program. If the day when you would like to schedule an appointment on WC Online is completely booked, you can join our waitlist

 


Missed Appointments 

Missed Appointment Policy During Fall, Spring, and Summer Semesters

In-Person appointments will be held for 10 minutesVirtual appointments will be held for 30 minutes. If you have not arrived or called in for your appointment within the 10 -or- 30 minute mark, it will be counted as missed so that other students who may be waiting to work with a consultant on a drop-in basis can use that time. 

We recognize that last-minute changes can arise in your schedule. The center allows up to three missed appointments per semester. After the third missed appointment, your WC Online account will be disabled; for the remainder of the current semester*, you will no longer be able to schedule appointments in advance. You are still welcome, however, to call ahead or come in for drop-in appointments, as available. 

*Missed appointments are reset at the beginning of each new semester -and- finals week.  

Missed Appointment Policy During Finals Week 

We have high demand during finals.  If you are unable to keep an appointment, per our Cancellation Policy, please cancel via WC Online no later than three hours ahead so other clients can claim that time. 

In-Person appointments will be held for 10 minutesVirtual appointments will be held for 30 minutes. If you have not arrived or called in for your appointment within the 10 -or- 30 minute mark, it will be counted as missed so that other students who may be waiting to work with a consultant on a drop-in basis can use that time. 

After two missed appointments during a finals week schedule, you will no longer be able to schedule appointments in advance. You are still welcome, however, to call ahead or come in for drop-in appointments, as available. 

*Missed appointments are reset at the beginning of each new semester -and- finals week.  

 


Cancellations

If you are unable to keep an appointment, please cancel through our WC Online system or contact our office via phone or email*. At least three hours notice is required for cancellations. If you cannot give us three hours notice, your session will be marked as a missed appointment, which may prevent you from booking future appointments. We appreciate a courtesy email even for missed appointments, as other students may be able to sign up for that session in your absence. 

*Rejecting a Google Calendar invite for a virtual appointment and/or trying to respond to a text from WC Online does NOT count as a cancellation. Only self cancellations through WC Online -or- a call/email no later than 3 hours prior to an appointment will prevent an appointment from being counted as missed.

 


Confidentiality

The GW Writing Center honors the trust between consultant and client. The Writing Center will not discuss the content of appointments with the professor who assigned a writing assignment without the student’s knowledge, with the exception of projects/consultations that do not adhere to the GWWC's community standards. Upon the client’s request, we can provide verification of attendance for them to share with their professors, as long as the client engages in a good-faith contribution to the collaborative session. Clients should request that verification during the appointment itself (usually at the end). 

We also request our clients to respect the confidentiality of our consultants by refraining from asking for personal information, including their last names or contact details, during appointments. This helps us foster a safe and professional environment for those working in the Center. If you wish to contact the consultant you worked with for any reason, such as to express your gratitude or to schedule another appointment with the same consultant, please use our main email and phone number provided:  and (202)994-3765. Additionally, we strictly prohibit any kind of recording during appointments, unless an accessibility exemption is granted by a WC administrator before the appointment.

 


Group and Take Home Exam Appointments

In addition to one-on-one appointments for academic and non-academic writing, the Writing Center also offers Group and Take Home Exam appointments following the policies below:

Group Appointments

Group appointments are for papers/projects with more than one writer. In order to maintain academic integrity we have the following policies:

  • To work on the ENTIRE paper/project all group members must be present.
  • If some group members are unable to attend, our consultants can only work on the sections directly written by members that are present.

 

Booking a Group Appointment:

  • Book an Appointment following normal procedures in WC Online, BUT when filling out the appointment form, make sure to select "Yes" under the question "Is this assignment part of a group paper or group project?" 
  • One group member can book the appointment and then share the Zoom link they are sent with the other members.
  • Each project can ONLY have 50 minutes (1 appointment) per day.
Take Home Exam Appointments

Take-home exams are different from essays or papers. At the GW Writing Center, we define take-home exams as tests that must be completed outside of class, and within a defined period of time. They may include essay questions, as well as short answer or multiple choice.

To mantain academic integrity, before we can work with you on a take-home exam, we need written permission from your professor. Professor permission must be emailed to [email protected] by 9a EST the day of your appointment. If permission has not been received by 9a EST the day of, the appointment can not be held and it will be cancelled.

 

Booking a Take Home Exam Appointment:

  • Book an Appointment following normal procedures in WC Online, BUT when filling out the appointment form, make sure to select "Yes" under the question "" 
  • Send your professor permission to [email protected] prior to the appointment -OR- bring it with you to the appointment if it is an In-Person appointment.


Long Term Projects (LTP) Policies

If you are interested in applying to our Long Term Project program, please refer to these policies.

Honor the Partnership

Please talk about your long-term project only with your partner consultant

Scheduling Policies

For the Long-Term Projects, you may schedule up to two fifty-minute appointments per week for a full semester with the same consultant. Long-Term Project appointments do count toward your three-appointments-per-week maximum in the Writing Center.

  • NOTE: If you need more support on other projects, with other consultants, you may schedule your own additional appointments via WCOnline, as long as your total number of weekly appointments remains within the three-appointments-per-week maximum. If you would like to request more support than the three-appointments-per-week maximum, please contact the WC Coordinator at [email protected].
Preparing for Meetings

Writers commit to attending their meetings. Even if you don’t feel prepared, checking in and talking about what’s getting in the way is important for keeping you on track.   If you are repeatedly unprepared for meetings…

  • The consultant will work with you to establish more realistic goals/a more realistic schedule (which may involve adjusting the frequency of your meeting times with your consultant partner).
  • If you continue to miss writing goals, the consultant will discuss the issue with the WC director, who will communicate with you about how to move forward. If there’s repeated lack of preparation, the director may cancel the partnership for the semester.
Cancelling and Missing Appointment

Cancelling:

  • If you need to cancel a long-term appointment, you must do so 3 hours or more before the appointment.  If you cancel frequently, we will treat this as “not meeting your writing goals” and follow the steps above.

Missing Appointments

  • If you cancel less than three hours before your appointment, it will count as “missed.” The Center allows up to three missed appointments per semester. If you miss more than three appointments over the semester, the partnership will be discontinued for the rest of the semester, although you may apply to restart the program the following semester.
Changing Your Schedule

If the meeting times you set up at the beginning of the partnership no longer work for you, we will try to find another time that works for you and the consultant.  Send an email to the Writing Center Coordinator ([email protected]); share your current schedule along with the new days & frequency you’d like to request.  Keep in mind, however, that we cannot guarantee that you will be able reschedule.   It is possible that you will have to forfeit the long-term project options for this semester.  You will still be able to make regular WC appointments. 

 


Holidays, Finals and Inclement Weather

The GW Writing Center offers an abbreviated schedule during finals weeks, and we follow the academic calendar for holiday closings. When the physical center is open on campus, we follow GW Campus Advisories for any closings or delays due to weather. Check the Writing Center’s online scheduling website for detailed schedules by semester.  

 


Alumni and Consortium Members

GW alumni and consortium members are welcome to make GW Writing Center appointments on a same-day or drop-in basis. In order to have an appointment reserved, please contact our front desk by, phone or email, the same day you wish to book an appointment. Alumni and Consortium appointments are tracked by office staff and are subject to our cancellation and missed appointment policies.