One Lehigh University student and two other individuals were charged this month with harassment and ethnic intimidation, considered a hate crime, in connection with uttering an antigay slur toward a student and pushing him to the ground.

The incident took place just after 2 a.m. Nov. 21 on the campus of the Bethlehem university.

According to university officials, a male Lehigh student and a male non-student were walking near campus housing in the southern part of campus when three males approached them. One of them was a Lehigh student and the other two were not; none of the individuals has been publicly identified.

Officials said one of three men uttered an antigay slur to the other Lehigh student. A verbal exchange began and the confrontation escalated into a physical one, which resulted in the Lehigh student being pushed to the ground. The student suffered a minor head injury, officials said, and he was treated at St. Luke’s Hospital, just outside Bethlehem.

Lori Friedman, a Lehigh University spokeswoman, told PGN that incidents involving student conduct are referred to the university’s Office of Student Conduct and Community Expectations, which has the authority to investigate incidents and determine whether a student has violated the code of conduct. She added the dean of students has the authority to implement temporary measures in an emergency or to protect the safety of a student while the conduct case is investigated.

Friedman said federal law concerning the privacy of student records prevents the university from releasing further information. 


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