Department - Author 1

Journalism Department

Degree Name - Author 1

BS in Journalism



Primary Advisor

Dan Eller


The purpose of this single-site study is to test how far speech can be pushed before it is no longer protected at the California Polytechnic State University. The purpose isn’t merely to push limitations for the sake of testing boundaries, but it is to see what types of speech truly add to the marketplace of ideas and what types simply do not. The main points of the study are to understand what speech is protected and what speech is not protected on California Polytechnic State University’s campus and to understand how the provocation that comes along with “negative speech” can be used to create “positive speech.” The methodology for this study includes a questionnaire based on research questions as well as an in-depth literature review that is intended to answer the questions posed by the study. The study found that speech that is constitutionally protected outside of public forums in college campuses is also applied to public forums in college campuses and that negative speech often promotes positive response within the community. Educational programs teaching inclusivity and diversity are encouraged to erase “negative speech” as a trigger for “positive speech,” as well as speaking up for what one believes in. Further research on other campuses is highly encouraged.