End the Cycle
Members of the BSU Buddies, Galvir Romero, Meghan Kinney and Abby Tremblay, all members of the class of 2016, held an event in the RCC to get people to refrain from using what they refer to as the r-word.
The r-word refers to people with mental retardation, which was once used as an acceptable medical term, but in today’s society is considered slang that degrades and insults. The trio asked students to sign a pledge as part of the Spread the Word to End the Word campaign indicating they would stop using the r-word.
“It is common sense that when you use a word that represents a certain demographic it will hurt them,” said Mr. Romero.
Ms. Kinney said words have power and should be used properly.
“People need to realize the impact their words have on people,” she said. “We want people to try to eliminate the use of it.”
She added that using the r-word doesn’t just hurt those with special needs or disabilities; it insults their family and friends. When confronted with the r-word the BSU Buddies recommend trying to redirect and rephrase what was said.
“Usually the context they are using it in doesn’t even make sense,” Mr. Romero said. He asks people to stop and think of what the appropriate term is for the situation.
While this event focused on the r-word, the Buddies are planning to spread awareness of using other derogatory terms.
The event was sponsored by Leaders Emerging and Development Series (LEADS).
Those who would like to learn more about people with disabilities can join the BSU Buddies every other Wednesday, at 6:30 p.m., in RCC 209.
(Story and photo by student Caitlin Seddon, University News)