Thesis students and Student Writing Assistants (SWAs) Bailey Cowden and Nora Flower recently kickstarted Writing Over Spilled Tea. Held in the Writing Resource Center (WRC) every Friday from 3 to 5 p.m., this writing group provides a casual space for students to do work, write or just drop in for tea outside of official WRC hours.
Cowden and Flower have both been SWAs for two and a half years. Writing Over Spilled Tea is their final SWA project or “SWA-ject,” a specialized writing group each SWA is required to organize. The two have collaborated to hold meetings in the late afternoon and provide tea to attendees whereas previously the WRC only served coffee. Cowden and Nora are sure to include both an herbal and a caffeinated option for every meeting and favor cold brew tea to combat the warmer weather.
“Clearly the most important part is the puns,” Flower said when asked why they chose to serve tea. “The fact that it’s easy to make it into a pun was a big selling point. But [it’s also] another beverage we can have in the WRC.”
While Writing Over Spilled Tea is technically a writing group, Cowden and Flower also welcome students who just want to sample the tea that week.
“We do encourage people to come in and grab some tea even if they can’t stay, because we have tea to share with them and also because it does help them at least to get into the WRC,” Flower said. “Some of them have never even been into our room before so that’s exciting to bring them in for the first time.”
Cowden and Flower also offer basic peer instruction during these meetings to those seeking it.
“We’re also there as SWAs if people need help with writing specifically,” said Cowden. “We wouldn’t be doing any one-on-one appointments, but we can answer quick questions about writing.”