Honors Projects


Nationally, hate crimes committed against an individual because of their faith have been on the rise since 2014. In Northwest Ohio alone, the incidence of reported hate crimes as doubled. This study focused on students of many different faiths who have experienced hate speech on Bowling Green State University's campus. It also addressed past university responses to these incidents and whether students felt supported by these efforts. Two research questions were addressed in this study: Have students experienced hate speech on campus that was directly linked to their religious preference? Does Bowling Green State University need to change its reaction towards hate speech on campus? The study was conducted using three focus groups, which placed an emphasis on civil discourse. A series of six questions were asked during the focus groups. Participants were all undergraduate students from Bowling Green State University and came from varied religious backgrounds. Of the nine participants, two students who identified themselves as members of religious minorities had experienced bias incidents because of their faith. However, neither participant identified these incidents as hate speech, as they felt the intent of the comments was not to harm. Overall, the participants believed that the university has taken appropriate action when hate speech has appeared on campus. Despite this positive reaction, participants had three suggestions for the University to improve its policies: emails sent by the administration about major religious holidays, a mandatory diversity training module for first-year students, and a class or discussion series on civil discourse.




Integrated Mathematics Education

First Advisor

Dr. Heath Diehl

First Advisor Department

Honors Program

Second Advisor

Mr. Jay Jones

Second Advisor Department


Publication Date

Fall 11-9-2019