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“You Don’t Say” Campaign Encourages Students to Think Before They Speak

Some of the phrases which crop up in our college vernacular can be abusive and insulting. However, a Duke University organization is aiming to change this through its “You Don’t Say” campaign.

The project, launched by Duke’s Think Before You Talk and Blue Devils United, is a photo campaign consisting of portraits of various Duke students who give reasons as to why they do not use certain offensive phrases such as “That’s so gay” or “Don’t be a pussy.” According to the project’s Facebook page, the goal of this initiative is to “foster dialogue on the intersection of language and gender and sexual identities.”

Think Before You Talk, one of the campus organizations responsible for the campaign, was launched in February after sophomore Anuj Chhabra and his peers started to speak about the implications of using such phrases in everyday life.

“Quite frankly, for the first time I realized the language I was using on a daily basis was dehumanizing and offending those around me,” said Chhabra.

Other efforts by the organization include painting a local bridge with often abused phrases such as “That’s retarded” or “I just got raped by that test,” in order raise awareness about the use of such language and encourage students to be more cautious when they speak.

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