Department of Athletics

USM SAAC, Huskies’ Basketball Teams to Host “Spread the Word to End the Word” Awareness Campaign on Sunday at Hill Gym

Maine Special Olympians participating in a basketball scrimmage during the 2017 Spread the Word to End the Word event

GORHAM, Maine – For the third consecutive year, the University of Southern Maine Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and the men’s and women’s basketball teams will host a “Spread the Word to End the Word” Awareness campaign.  This year the campaign will be hosted during the Huskies’ non-conference basketball doubleheader with local rival, the St. Joseph’s College (Maine) Monks, on Sunday, November 25 (5:30 & 7:30 p.m.) at Hill Gymnasium.

The “Spread the Word to End the Word” campaign is a national program whose mission is to end the derogatory use of the word “retarded” in everyday conversation.  Through advocacy and awareness, the goal of the campaign is to educate people on the hurtful effects of the word “retarded” and to encourage people to pledge to stop using it.  Led by USM SAAC officers, USM student-athletes over the past two seasons have committed to establishing a campus culture of inclusivity and diversity through thoughtful language practices. With the 2018 Spread the Word to End the Word event, Husky student-athletes invite their peers, fans, friends and family as well as members of the St. Joseph’s College community to recommit to the program’s endeavor.

As part of the event, the USM men’s and women’s basketball teams will be hosting halftime exhibition scrimmages featuring participants in SAAC’s Unified Sports Program and Maine Special Olympic Athletes. During halftime of the men’s basketball games, players from the Southern Maine women’s basketball team will participate alongside of Maine Special Olympians.

Although officially adopted as a partner by the NCAA Division III Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) in the summer of 2011, the University of Southern Maine Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and the USM Department of Athletics has had a long-standing relationship with Special Olympics, and its Maine Special Olympians. READ MORE