Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020

Dear UNT students,

We are halfway through the fall semester, and the number of COVID-19 cases on campus remains very low compared to other universities of our size in Texas and the U.S. I attribute this achievement to your focus on social distancing, wearing masks, and complying with many other safety guidelines we established during the summer. However, I am concerned that some of you are beginning to let your guard down, and I want to remind you of the importance of remaining vigilant.

Specifically, I am hearing that more students are beginning to gather informally in larger groups again and also are not reporting symptoms or cases to university officials as required by our safety protocols. For those of you attending football games, you need to remember that social distancing and mask guidelines also apply in Apogee Stadium.

Parties and being lax about social distancing and mask requirements does not just affect you, it puts your friends, families and our campus community at risk. In order to continue offering on-campus services and provide an opportunity for expanding those services, we need your cooperation. And as the state of Texas opens additional capacity at popular student hangouts like restaurants and bars next week, please be mindful and practice safety measures for yourself and those around you.

All you need to know about masks, social distancing, reporting cases, and other safety guidelines and requirements can be found at There is a student-focused section on the site, as well as general information regarding case reporting and our procedures for contact tracing. Please do not attempt to do contact tracing on your own. We have a team of trained professionals who can determine whether others in your circle of friends may have been exposed to COVID-19.

I know that the pandemic has posed challenges to us all and has created a series of sub-optimal choices, but know that we are doing everything to give you the best college experience we can under these circumstances. I ask for your help in keeping UNT a safe place to learn and work. Please stay masked, socially distanced and help keep our community safe.


Neal Smatresk
UNT President