Protesters Call for Greater Racial Diversity at Lehigh University

One recent morning, hundreds of students and faculty members left class at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, to attend a rally demanding greater racial diversity on campus. The walkout was sparked by reports that in 2001 there were 73 minority students in the first-year class. This year there are only 53, a drop of more than 27 percent. Blacks are less than 3 percent of the 4,600 undergraduate students.

The protest was organized by a group on campus called The Movement. The group is preparing a list of demands and a petition which will be presented to university president Gregory C. Farrington. Students are demanding more courses on racial and ethnic studies, an increase in the number of cultural events for minority students, and a research effort to determine how the university can increase racial diversity on campus.