Public Service Projects

The grade in this COMS 460 class class is only partly based on traditional tests and quizzes. Another part of the grade is based on the moot court competition and your public service project. All of these give cumulative points.

The idea of a public service project in this class is to:

  • Conduct research into the barriers against constructive social and political expression in universities
  • Research possible methods to enhance constructive social and political expression in universities
  • Create or contribute to a project to enhance constructive social expression on campus

Examples of Public Service Projects

These are just some ideas about a public service project.

  • The Thomas Jefferson Center for Freedom of Expression created a First Amendment monument in 2006. According to the center: The monument consists primarily of a two-sided wall of Buckingham slate, approximately 54 feet long (108’ of writing space) by 7.5 feet high, on which members of the public may express their views, in chalk, on any subject they choose. Permanently inscribed on one segment of the wall is the text of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. Would this kind of monument be appropriate for RU? Are there less expensive ways to achieve the same result? Create a challenge for architecture or engineering students to come up with an appropriate monument.
  • Perform a content analysis of RU bulletin boards and other public expressions (table tents, wall posters) in contrast to other universities.
  • Learn how communication audits work in organizational communication research. Work with a team to do a communication audit at RU.
  • Help rate the RU speech code. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, FIRE, has given RU a yellow light under their rating system. Is yellow appropriate? How does RU compare to other universities?
  • Organize a First Amendment demonstration, public speaking event or public debate.
  • Turn your moot court brief into a working document by consulting with FIRE or the ACLU to initiate a legal challenge to the unconstitutional aspects of a speech code.