An urban environment enriches the experience of students, faculty and staff but also poses certain challenges to the health and safety of its residents. Lehigh is building more effective partnerships to identify those challenges and work together toward their resolution.
The SouthSide Ambassadors Program is a partnership between Lehigh University and the Bethlehem Economic Development Corporation to fund cleaning and safety ambassadors for the South Bethlehem commercial district. The focus of the cooperative agreement is a cleaner, safer South Bethlehem commercial district that becomes a destination for shopping, dining and entertainment.
The South Side Initiative brings together faculty, students and staff with the people of Bethlehem in order to share knowledge, foster democracy and improve the quality of life in our city. The first goal is to foster the exchange of knowledge, enabling students and faculty to share specialized academic expertise with our neighbors, and inviting community members to share local forms of knowledge, historical memory and cultural practice with those in the university. The Initiative also addresses pressing challenges in the life of the city by creating opportunities for informed democratic deliberation and action.
South Bethlehem is home to thousands of Lehigh students, faculty and staff who live off-campus and help build a cohesive community while improving the overall quality of life for city residents. At the annual South Side Clean-Up, many Lehigh and Bethlehem groups come together to clean the sidewalks and gutters of debris accumulated over winter. Working toward a common cause adds meaning to the day for Lehigh and neighbors who take pride in a clean, healthy environment.
Lehigh strives to create an environment where students and neighbors can feel at ease on campus and in the surrounding community. The Lehigh University Police Department (LUPD), fully accredited by the state of Pennsylvania, works in concert with local police, fire and community organizations to ensure that South Bethlehem remains a safe neighborhood in which to live, learn, work and play.
There are a number of ways everyone in the Lehigh community can contribute to a safe community. The new HawkWatch Alert system delivers text and voicemail messages to your cellphone in emergency circumstances and the HawkWatch personal safety app provides a number of resources that can help keep members of the Lehigh community safe. TRACS and Escort Service provide alternatives to walking alone after dark, and R.A.D. Self-Defense Training is a program of realistic self-defense tactics and techniques for men and women.
The home of Lehigh’s Arts, Theater & Music departments is a strong community partner, having longstanding relationships with the Ballet Guild of the Lehigh Valley, the Bach Choir of Bethlehem, and Touchstone Theater’s Young Playwrights Festival. A number of special events are held at Zoellner, including “Monday Morning School Matinees” for over 2,000 elementary and middle-school students and sensory friendly adapted shows for children who range in ability from completely wheelchair bound to fully adaptable.
hours of community service by the Lehigh community
percentage of Lehigh students who participate in community service by their senior year
number of on- and off- campus miles patrolled by the Lehigh University Police Department during 2015
pints of blood donated to the MillerKeystone blood center by Lehigh community members in 2015