Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Jon Shields

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Are campus movements concerning free speech—from Berkeley in the 1960s to the campaign against political correctness today—really about speech? Are movements really concerned with civil liberties on campus or are their calls for free speech excited by partisan motives? While free speech movements are never purely driven by civil libertarian concerns, they should not be considered simply partisan either. Campus speech movements have frequently united activists across the ideological spectrum, which suggests that these movements aren’t only sectarian in nature. It also confirms that these movements are in fact about speech, because those advocating for it have a wide range of motives, but free speech is the point of agreement. However, this is not to say that there aren’t ulterior partisan underpinnings in these pushes for free speech.