SMU Best Buddies is currently campaigning to end the r-word with their “Spread The Word To End The Word” movement.
Best Buddies hopes to get 300 signatures at the flagpole on Wednesday to promote their cause. As an incentive they have partnered with the Kona and Ruthie’s food trucks in order to offer free or discounted food for pledging.
Best Buddies is an SMU organization that seeks to pair individuals that have intellectual and developmental disabilities with SMU students in order to provide a variety of inclusive opportunities and lasting friendships.
“The organization’s goal is to promote inclusion for everyone,” said junior Katie Snyder. “With this campaign we hope to end the use of the r-word.”
The SMU men’s and women’s basketball teams are already participating in the movement to raise society’s consciousness about using the r-word. By eliminating the r-word they hope to stop degrading people with disabilities as well as the negative stereotypes surrounding them.
By partnering SMU students with disabled people from the community they hope to create mutually enriching one-to-one friendships. Buddy pairs do activities every day like meeting for lunch or going to see a movie.
Helping their campaign is Jeremy Criswell, who has been on the Texas Best Buddies advisory board and is an ambassador for Best Buddies Texas. Working with Best Buddies for more than 15 years, Criswell understands the support system the organization offers.
“They treated me as a friend and not someone with a disability,” said Criswell.
Best Buddies are continuing their campaign Thursday at the Hughes-Trigg Student Center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. where they will also be giving away donut holes from Mustang Donuts.