Message to the Lehigh Community from Bethlehem Mayor Bob Donchez, Kerry Shamnoski '22 and Lucy Kwiatek '22

A video of the message was posted on Lehigh's Instagram account on Aug. 21.

Story by

Stephen Gross

Bethlehem Mayor Bob Donchez, Kerry Shamnoski '22 and Lucy Kwiatek '22 shared an important message on Lehigh's Instagram account as we prepare for the start of the Fall 2020 semester.

Below are their full remarks transcribed.

Donchez: Hi, I'm Mayor Bob Donchez. I would like to take this opportunity to welcome you back to Bethlehem. And for those of you coming to Lehigh for the first time, welcome to our great city. You are an important part of our community and add to its vibrancy. You have the incredible opportunity to study at one of the nation's best universities. I want to wish you the very best for a successful semester. While you're here, please do everything you can to keep yourself, and our community healthy and safe. I know that socializing with friends is part of the college experience, but this virus is insidious and it can spread quickly where there are large gatherings. So for now, please limit any large gatherings, and that means avoiding parties. I'm counting on you. The City of Bethlehem is counting on you to do the right thing: Wear a mask, maintain social distancing and avoid large crowds, wash your hands frequently and stay home if you're not feeling well. And remember, we're all in this together.

Shamnoski: Hi, my name is Kerry Shamnoski and I'm super excited to get the semester started. It's super critical for us to do our part to keep the Lehigh community and the Southside Bethlehem community safe by doing our part, by self-monitoring and, if you're feeling sick, to stay home.

Kwiatek: I'm Lucy. I'm a junior here at Lehigh and I've lived in Bethlehem for pretty much my entire life. Now, right now, it's important that we show our respect, not just for fellow students and faculty but also for the workers who keep this campus running, and for the broader community that supports all of us. Now we can do that by following a few pretty basic safety guidelines. First of all, wear one of these [a mask] whenever you're around other people. Also, it's very important that you respect social distancing guidelines, including not going to events, especially indoors, where there's going to be lots of people. That is a really good way to get COVID and it's a really good way to facilitate community spread, which we don't want. Right now, it's just really important that you follow some of these guidelines during this semester. While it's not going to be easy and it's not going to be super fun, it's necessary, it's important, and it will keep everybody safe.

Story by

Stephen Gross