Lehigh’s Office of Student Conduct and Community Expectations has opened 15 COVID-19-related conduct cases against both individuals and organizations, said Holly Taylor, an assistant dean of students.
“I will also share that COVID reports are coming regularly from Lehigh students,” Taylor said in an email. “It’s clear that many students are very concerned about the behavior of their fellow classmates, both citing concern for the health and safety of our community and South Bethlehem, and frustration that these types of violations could lead to Lehigh shutting down again.”
The 15 cases range from “simple failure to wear a face covering” to “events,” which also may have included additional violations like “possession, consumption or distribution of alcohol,” Taylor told The Brown and White. She said she has meetings scheduled with “all of these students and a few organizations” in the coming days.
Taylor added that the charged individuals and organizations will follow the student conduct process “to determine if any violations have occurred or not.”
The 15 reported cases involving potential COVID-19 rules infractions comes just three days before the start of classes on Aug. 24. Most, if not all, first-year students who chose to live on-campus completed their move-in on Aug. 20.
Taylor also addressed an email she sent to select students on Aug. 20. The recipients of the email had allegedly shown interest in “group messages” to attend a 200-person party at the UMOJA House. Taylor’s email proactively warned the potential attendees that their interest in the party was “very concerning.”
“These reports came from several of your fellow classmates who are greatly concerned about the safety and wellbeing of all of you, and the rest of the campus community,” Taylor wrote in the Aug. 20 email.
Taylor told The Brown and White that she is unaware of any “large scale event” that occurred at the UMOJA House following her email. No charges will be filed in connection to this case, she said.
Lehigh’s COVID page says that Lehigh-affiliated indoor gatherings must be limited to 25 people and off-campus gatherings must be limited to 10.