Lehigh Valley

Lehigh University students rally against 'hate crime'

Lehigh University students rally against 'hate crime'

BETHLEHEM, Pa. - After the Umoja House at Lehigh University was vandalized on Wednesday morning with graffiti that spelled out racial slur , students at the institution came together to spark a change in attitude and action.

Students expressed anger, frustration, and disgust in action's that Lehigh University's President Alice Gast called "cowardly and hateful."

One of the student speakers was Brenda Martinez, a junior at the university.

"No one should transfer out of Lehigh based on fear, President Gast," Martinez said in her speech, quoting President Gast.

But the recent actions toward the Umoja House have some sleeping uneasy.

"They egged it and spray painted the "N" word," said Shannon Wright, a Lehigh student.

Students said they welcome conversation regarding diversity and acceptance, but they are pushing for more than just words.

" I think it's time we actually take some serious actions. And yeah, I think it's not just about talk anymore," said Durlav Mudbhari, a Lehigh student.

"We really need to address this, it is not acceptable," Wright said.

Students said acts like these are all too common.

"I know this semester there have been a lot of racial issues come to light. A lot of marginalized students starting to speak out. I think there is tension on both sides of the equation because of that," Wright said.

Hundreds of students gathered at the flag pole at Lehigh University on Wednesday night.

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