Western’s Orientation program has launched a Language Awareness Campaign in an effort to raise awareness of offensive current day slang, and the extreme impact it can have on others.
By addressing harmful language used casually today and offering positive substitutes, the campaign hopes to help students feel more welcomed and accepted on all levels at the University.
After working alongside people with developmental disabilities, Student Council member, Taryn Scripnick, says the misuse of the word “retarded” really hits home.
“It’s really frustrating and kind of sad to speak to people who don’t really understand what they’re saying and how it hurts other people.”
Papy Abdie is the Arts and Humanities Head Soph at Western, and stresses the importance of phrases surrounding mental health, as they can trivialize a condition.
“Saying things like ‘oh i’m so OCD about this,’ but are you? Because there are people who actually have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and that’s a part of their lives, it’s something they have to deal with.”
Just because you may not identify with a hurtful phrase, Abdie adds, it doesn’t mean that others around you wont.
Abdie and Scripnick invite students to give feedback on the social media campaign in hopes to expand the project to a campus wide conversation.