Monday, Jan. 11, 2021

Dear UNT students,

The turn of a new year always brings fresh beginnings filled with hope and anticipation. Optimistic eyes turn to our year ahead as we start the Spring 2021 semester this week. We saw the start of immunizations at the end of 2020, and COVID-19 vaccines continue to trickle into the population. We are so incredibly close to enjoying a full return. Now is not the time to relax, rather it is time to remain as vigilant as ever while case numbers around the country continue to rise and hospitals strain to keep up.

Our COVID-19 testing and safety guidelines had a positive impact and allowed us to keep our campus open last fall. As we return to campus now, we will continue to help keep our UNT community safe and healthy while still providing you the best experience possible during these challenging times. It will remain incredibly important for each of us to continue to wear a mask, stay at least 6 feet away from others, avoid crowds and wash your hands often.

We strongly encourage you to get a COVID-19 test before returning to campus - or as soon as possible after returning. To register for testing being administered daily by WellHealth at the Union Circle Garage, visit and follow the "Book Now" link on the map's Denton location (labeled "Denton - UNT Union Circle Garage - Texas Emergency Management"). Include the group code "UNT" so positive test results can be sent directly to UNT's COVID response team. The WellHealth testing, available with no individual out-of-pocket cost, is offered from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays, except for holidays.

The ability to test and isolate asymptomatic carriers of the virus has proven to be crucial in mitigating spread and keeping our community safe. We can begin to find a sense of normalcy with proper precautions and safety protocols in place, while we await broader vaccine availability.

I also want you to reach out to your faculty or staff if you are struggling. We are here to help, and we want to do everything we can to help you be successful. If you have questions about your schedule or courses, don't hesitate to reach out to your undergraduate academic advisor or graduate departmental advisor. The Registrar's Office, Student Financial Services and Student Financial Aid and Scholarships are available to assist you as well. Students also may receive free counseling through the university's Counseling and Testing Services.

I am confident in our safety protocols, and I know those will be bolstered by the caution and care each of you will no doubt show for one another and others on campus. I am looking forward to the spring semester and what this year will bring.

UNT proud,
Neal Smatresk
UNT President