Editor’s note: This article has been updated to correctly identify how the location and time of the protest was shared.
Traffic reached a standstill on Packer Avenue Monday as protesters stood silent and still in the crosswalk between STEPS and Packard Lab.
The protesters, dressed in black with duct tape covering their mouths, marched into the street at noon in response to Professor Monica Miller’s lawsuit against Lehigh, alleging that the university ignored her reports of sexual misconduct against Professor James Peterson for years before he came under investigation in November 2018.
The protesters remained in the crosswalk until police intervened, at which point they moved to either side of the street, and crossed intermittently as cars and buses passed by.
Protest organizers circulated a flyer through social media and GroupMe promoting the protest, citing that “Senior leadership has failed to honor their commitments. Hold them accountable.”
Protesters continued crossing the street until just after 1 p.m. when organizers disbanded the protest.
Laura DeFelice, ’19, and Kevelis Matthews-Alvarado, ’20, hope that the protest will bring students, faculty and staff’s attention to injustices marginalized communities face at Lehigh.
“Whenever large things occur that spark student uproar and protest, there’s always that larger Lehigh that feels like, ‘Oh, well, that doesn’t impact me,’ and I think to me this just shows that it impacted not only faculty, but students, and even people outside of Lehigh,” Matthews-Alvarado said. “It’s larger than just this occurrence.”
DeFelice said protests will continue until the administration is held accountable.
“You haven’t seen the last of us,” DeFelice said.