My favorite professional publication is "The Writing Lab
Newsletter" which almost always has timely and
fascinating articles as relevant to learning centers as
they are to writing centers.  For example, the excellent
series on ethical questions by M. Pembroke and the
"Tutor's Column"--you'll enjoy the article by a gay tutor
describing his dilemma in helping a student who was
writing an essay bashing gays in the June 97 issue and
an article called "A guide for writing tutors working with
dyslexic students."

And how do you deal when students threaten you??
Eric Hobson's article "An ounce of prevention:
Ensuring Safety in the Writing Center" is also a winner
in my book. Based on an e-mail discussion from the
Writing Center listserve, he asks, "How likely is it really that
any of the following situations will occur:
        --A student in a rage brandishes a knife at a member
of the writing center staff?
        --The writing center is the target of a bomb threat?
        --A writing center director is punched by a very
large, very powerful, very angry student?
        --A faculty member, suffering a psychotic episode,
barricades himself in the writing center?
        --The writing center is burglarized or vandalized?
        --A client suffers a medical emergency in the writing

        --A student with a long history of destroying
computers in schools he attended is referred to the
writing center with no mention of his past actions?

Think these things can't happen in your program?
Think again.  Most, but not all of them happened in my
program thirty years ago when times were supposed to
be safer.  On my first day at Berkeley I asked where the
key to the women's room was and was told that the
secretary always keeps it since that was where the rape

Someone placed a firebomb on the inside wooden
stairs--fortunately it sputtered out or our wooden
building would have gone up in smoke. A student
opened the window in the reading lab letting in a blast
of tear gas from the action next door at the Placement
office where students were protesting military recruiters
and being gassed by the National Guard. Then there
were the death threats (when I called the campus police,
they said in effect, "Ho Hum!  You're the 16th faculty
member to complain this week!")

So what would you do if these things happen? What
policies do you have to handle them?
Read the writing lab directors responses in the WLNL.
(The Writing Lab Newsletter is published monthly from
Sept. to June - yearly payment $15; make checks
payable to Purdue University; send check and request
for subscription to Mary Jo Turley, English Dept.,
Purdue University, 1356 Heavilon,  West Lafayette,
Indiana 47907)