Odd socks for WDSD


A member of the Northern Michigan University chapter of Best Buddies sports mismatched socks to spread awareness about the unique personalities of individuals with Down Syndrome. Photo by: Trinity Carey

Trinity Carey

You may have noticed a number of students walking across campus in mismatched socks yesterday.
In honor of World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD), the NMU Chapter of Best Buddies International, a nonprofit organization which aims to end the stigma surrounding the Intellectual and Developmental Disability community, sported mismatched socks and set up an information booth in Jamrich Hall on Wednesday, March 21.

The odd socks are a symbol for the unique characteristics of those with Down Syndrome, said Seton Trost, president of Best Buddies and junior biology major.

“The idea behind it is that every person with Down Syndrome is different in their own way. Their personalities are very colorful and mismatched themselves, so by having mismatched socks, the idea is to match their personalities,” Trost said.

Members of Best Buddies handed out cookies and stickers to others who wore mismatched socks and those who stopped to learn more about the day.

“We’re trying to raise awareness on campus, so we’re encouraging students to wear mismatched socks today because that’s a national movement,” Trost said.

The global day of awareness takes place on the 21st day of the third month of the year to signify the triplication of the 21st chromosome which causes Down Syndrome, according to the WDSD website.

Trost, who joined Best Buddies after her experience working with individuals with Down Syndrome and autism in high school, said many people stopped by the booth throughout the day to learn more about the organization’s efforts.

“I think it’s important because it’s not something everyone gives a lot of thought to,” Trost said. “People don’t talk to them like they would their friends and there’s not much difference. It’s just breaking that barrier.”

The NMU chapter of Best Buddies will be holding an autism awareness panel discussion from 7 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, April 5.