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Today's Incident Involving Ethnic Intimidation and Harassment

A message sent to members of the Lehigh community.

Dear Members of the Lehigh Community,

As shared by Chief Schiffer, earlier today a student and a staff member were separately targeted and threatened on our campus by a non-Lehigh person who made comments to the effect that Asians “don’t belong here.”

We have seen incidents of vicious hatred and violence perpetrated against Asians, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders across the country. To have an incident on our campus underscores that this can happen anywhere, including in our own community.

Fortunately, the student and the staff member were not harmed. Yet I recognize the impact on Asian, Asian American and Pacific Islander members of our community is real, and I’m sure many have concerns about their personal safety and well-being.

As a university, it is incumbent upon us to stand up against this hatred and prejudice. I will be speaking often this year of the strength of the collective Lehigh community, and our responsibility to look out for one another. No member of this community should feel unsafe on our campus. I commend the Lehigh Police Department, who worked quickly and collaboratively with the Bethlehem Police to apprehend the perpetrator of the threat today.

To our Asian, Asian American and Pacific Islander students, faculty and staff, you most certainly “do belong here.” We are enriched by your presence, as we are by the presence of each and every member of the Lehigh community. You are welcome and you are valued.

Sincerely,

Joseph J. Helble ’82

President

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