A student was approached around 3:00 a.m. on the 200 block of E. Morton Street by a man with a knife attempting to rob them. (Courtesy of Tony Webster/Creative Commons)

Back-to-back DUIs raise concern across campus


As the excitement and spirit of Lehigh-Lafayette’s annual football game came to a close, the campus community should reflect on a new danger that has surfaced on campus.

On Nov. 17 and Nov. 22, two individuals were charged with driving under the influence. 

Both times, cars reportedly swerved into the stairs across from Trembley Park that lead up to the Psi Upsilon fraternity house. This intersection is known for having a stop sign for residents coming from Trembley’s parking lot.

While one of the drunk drivers was not a Lehigh student, the accidents were still alarming for campus residents. 

Anna Cassidy, ‘22, said Lehigh should do more to promote ride-sharing services at night, especially on popular nights for parties and drinking on campus. 

“I think that there should be more lights put in around campus in the dark,” Cassidy said. “It makes me feel unsafe sometimes walking at night from the library with the minimal amount of street lights and visibility.”

Jenna Papaz, the director of Health Advancement and Prevention Strategies, focuses on high-risk behavior, drinking and mental health on campus. Papaz’s department conducted a survey which proved a majority of students do, in fact, act responsibly. 

As of 2018, the survey showed that 0 percent of students reported driving after consuming five or more drinks, and roughly 7 percent responded saying they drive after having any alcohol. 

Papaz said her department promotes responsibility and safety.

“We try to be more proactive with our approach by pushing for bystander intervention,” Papaz said. “Most times, drunk driving occurs when the individuals are with friends and families. The message I want to promote is that I hope there will always be someone around that can be a part of the solution.”

Holly Taylor, associate director of the Office of Student Conduct, said Lehigh students do a good job of trafficking each other when it comes to making dangerous decisions. Overall, this type of violation is handled like a normal alcohol violation once Taylor’s department receives the police reports. 

Typical sanctions include mandating alcohol education for all first-time conduct cases. Suspension is not considered for these cases unless the student has had conduct cases in the past. 

Taylor said it is not safe to walk on roads at night in general, and she advises students to take extra safety precautions.

“I advise students to do their best to find a ride and make sure to stay off the roads, and walk through buildings, especially in the middle of the night,” Taylor said.

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  1. Lehigh Student on

    Is Holly Taylor really telling us to not walk on our own campus at night? Shouldn’t more effort be made to make it a safer environment rather than shifting the blame to students for being out in the first place?

    • Robert F Davenport Jr on

      Because Holly’s general statements lead you to suppose or believe Lehigh is unsafe. Holly should possibly speak like a weather forecaster, with percentages: such as 3% chance of an incident at night versus 1% chance of a serious incident or 1% chance of a daylight incident versus 2% lower chance of any similar incident than at Lafayette or triple the chance of any incident if you are alcohol or drug impaired.

      An environment is only as safe as the people in it and the decisions they make. Hopefully Lehigh no longer uses barbed wire to protect areas that should not be accessed.

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