2.15.21: Campus Update

A message sent to students and shared with faculty, staff and Lehigh families. 

Dear Students,

Our goal since the beginning of the semester has been to offer, as much as possible during this pandemic, a residential Lehigh experience for those living on campus and access to the appropriate array of facilities and programs for those living on and off campus. Unfortunately, we’ve had to restrict activity given a significant increase in cases, and have shared that further restrictions may follow if the positivity rate does not decline. 

Student Code of Conduct

Since our last update, a number of students who have hosted or attended parties have been brought to the attention of the university. Actionable and detailed reports have allowed us to respond directly and quickly; these students have been referred to the Office of Student Conduct & Community Expectations and face sanctions that could include suspension or expulsion

We recognize many students are following the safety protocols. We thank you for your cooperation and understand your frustration with the behavior of some of your fellow students. It is worth noting that many of these code of conduct violations were reported by other students, who expressed concern about their health and that of the community, as well as an unwillingness to put their own education at risk. Those who violate our health and safety guidelines are actively working against our efforts to remain in person. We know there can be a reluctance to report on other students. Doing so in this case is in the best interest of all students and protects not only the Lehigh community but also the larger Bethlehem community. Refer to our message on how to make a report here. Any retaliation or retribution directed at those making reports is a violation of the Student Code of Conduct and will not be tolerated.

Isolation and Quarantine Protocols

Additional Isolation Space- As a result of a large number of positive cases, over the weekend we activated additional isolation spaces in the vacant Greek houses. We are hopeful that our shared actions and efforts will see a decrease in the number of positive cases, but we wanted you to be aware that we are planning and preparing for this eventuality in the coming days. The Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs will notify local and national chapters as these spaces are utilized. 

Temporary Quarantine Protocol Change- Students living on campus who are close contacts and who cannot return home to complete quarantine will quarantine in their current on-campus residence rather than moving to isolation housing. We utilized this temporary procedure last semester and will revisit this procedure as the semester continues. Students completing quarantine should follow all directions from the Health and Wellness Center, including staying in their residence except to pick up meals, maintaining a 6-foot distance from others at all times, and double-masking.  

In addition to the university limiting activities and enforcing the guidelines in place, we continue to ask all of you to do your part and to redouble your efforts to follow practices that are proven to reduce spread: double-masking, social distancing, hand-washing, avoiding even smaller gatherings.

-COVID-19 Response Team