Lehigh’s Office of Diversity, Inclusion & Equity hosted Rock the Block! on the STEPS lawn on August 31. The event acted as a "welcome back" for Lehigh's students. 

Rock the Block encourages student advocacy on campus


Lehigh’s Office of Diversity, Inclusion & Equity held a “welcome back” event on Aug. 31 called Rock the Block! on the STEPS lawn. 

Multiple advocacy groups on campus set up tables with information about their work on campus. The groups included the Center for Gender Equity and the Pride Center, among others. 

Students were able to walk between tables and engage with representatives from each office. Each table featured a different topping to add to a bag of Doritos. 

“It’s kind of like a build-your-own-walking-taco,” Center for Gender Equity Coordinator Azalea Chacón said. 

Each table had an educational component. Chacón said the Center for Gender Equity’s table aimed to raise awareness on why people are afraid to “lead with love.” 

Chacón said the event’s overarching theme was love and activism.

“Love and unity are necessary in this world,” she said.  

At the Center for Gender Equity, Chacón said students, interns and volunteers help to plan events and work on projects.

She said students are encouraged to bring their ideas, as they are aware of what is affecting their generation.

Scott Burden, director of the Pride Center, said their office is striving to build a campus community where people of all genders and sexualities are able to thrive. 

“How we do that is through relationship-building and pursuing social change,” Burden said. 

He said identifying policies that need to be changed or enacted is one of the Pride Center’s main goals.

Recently, the university passed the Pride Center’s Chosen Name Policy.

Burden said the policy ensures a student’s chosen name to be entered into university databases, such as on Coursesite, at the Mail Center and on Banner.

“Lehigh reaffirmed its commitment to ensuring that an individual’s chosen name — for whatever reason — shows up appropriately and accurately,” Burden said. 

Sarah Teitelman, ‘26, said she learned more about Lehigh’s resources and how she can become more involved on campus at Rock the Block! 

“I learned about how I can get more involved on campus,” Teitelman said.

Maddi Braun, ‘24, said she stumbled across the event, yet she stayed to make connections and join clubs. 

“Even if they’re not interested in the club, it gets people talking,” Braun said. 

Rock the Block! also functioned as a 5×10 for first-year students.

5x10s are programming events held on campus that have a specific focus on the first-year student experience at Lehigh, according to Lehigh’s Student Affairs website.

All first-year students are expected to attend at least five of these events during the first ten weeks of the semester. 

“Our work is really important on campus,” Burden said. “We want you to know that we’re here for you.” 

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