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University of Saskatchewan group wants to end use of the R-word in Saskatoon

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WATCH ABOVE: Students at the University of Saskatchewan (U of S) are asking people to stop using a term that can be hurtful to people with intellectual disabilities – Mar 20, 2017

Students at the University of Saskatchewan (U of S) are asking people to stop using a term that can be hurtful to people with intellectual disabilities.

Their effort to collect petition signatures is part of the “Spread the Word to End the Word” campaign.

READ MORE: Edmonton students launch #NoGoodWay campaign to eliminate use of R-word 

“We’re just trying to help reduce the stigma of the word ‘retarded’ and just try and get people to stop using the word specifically and other derogatory terms,” U of S Best Buddies co-president Max Liu said.

Set up in the Arts Tunnel and the Health Science Building, the group hopes to surpass the approximately 250 signatures collected last year.

Best Buddies is a non-profit organization, which connects volunteers with people living with intellectual disabilities. Together, they do everything friends do, whether it’s a day at the movies, a visit to the zoo or simply hanging out.

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“I like to do anything anyone ever wants to do, like my favourite thing is probably puzzles [or] reading, anything,” Lauren Hampton, who got her first volunteer Best Buddy seven years ago, said.

READ MORE: Gay-straight alliance ‘Athlete Allies’ created by Saskatchewan Huskies

But there’s one thing she doesn’t like at all – the way she feels hearing the R-word.

“Really upset because I used to be called the R-word all the time when I was a little kid and everything,” Hampton said.

As part of the #NOGOODWAY campaign for Special Olympics, Saskatchewan police officers offered their support earlier this month.

WATCH MORE: Breaking the stigma of the ‘R’ word in Saskatoon

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Breaking the stigma of the ‘R’ word in Saskatoon – Mar 14, 2016