Friday, April 23, 2021

Dear UNT students,

As the spring semester winds down and many of you are focused on finals, I want to take a moment to congratulate each of you and thank you for the care and compassion you have shown one another throughout the unprecedented challenges of this last year. The adaptability and persistence you've all shown in continuing to move forward while adjusting to shifting realities has been truly admirable.

You not only faced a deadly pandemic together, you've also endured a devastating winter storm and have tackled tough issues around equity and racism. Over the last year the Mean Green community has exemplified our caring and resilient nature that we so often celebrate at UNT. Because of you, we will be able to enjoy a fall semester with in-person classes and events, and all the traditions we treasure and have missed.

To help make that our reality, we must continue to stay safe this summer. I encourage you to get vaccinated, continue wearing your masks, and continue following important public health guidelines. We also would like to hear from you about your plans, and I encourage you to participate in the vaccination planning survey distributed by our Division of Student Affairs.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, even after you have been fully vaccinated you should continue to wear a mask around people who are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 or when you go to gatherings. There are many activities the CDC does consider safe once you have been fully vaccinated. You can learn more about current safety guidelines on the CDC website.

We continue to carefully review the latest advice from public health and medical experts, and we will adjust our guidelines and plans according to expert advice so that we can provide a safe and enjoyable environment for our community.

As we get closer to fall, I am excited about seeing all of you in person on campus and look forward to being at events and activities with you all. If you haven't planned your fall semester or registered for classes, this is a good time to get started!

UNT proud,
Neal Smatresk
UNT President