Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020

Dear UNT students,

We are nearing the end of our first two weeks of the fall semester, and I am very pleased that the diligent actions being taken by so many of you who are living and studying on campus have been working. However, as we approach Labor Day weekend, I urge you to continue taking safety precautions by wearing masks and social distancing.

The Division of Student Affairs has received a number of questions from student organizations regarding in-person meetings and events. At this time, student organizations are not allowed to host official meetings or events on campus or off campus. As for general gatherings, we are strongly discouraging them in order to maintain student and community safety. If you do engage in these behaviors, make sure you follow CDC guidelines and local/state executive orders regarding face coverings, social distancing, and group size, which is generally limited to groups no larger than 10. University officials will reevaluate this decision Oct. 1.

If it is determined that a student organization is not following these directives, the organization can and will be held accountable for violating UNT's Code of Student Conduct, which is applicable to students and student organizations, both on- and off-campus.

Even in the few situations where, for example, face coverings are not required by Executive Order 29, we still strongly encourage it in an effort to maintain safety and minimize the number of COVID-19 cases in our community.

I know that some students are asking about why football is occurring when they cannot have organizational meetings. With Athletics operating under guidelines provided by our conference, as well as the NCAA, participation in football or other sports is considered a semi-autonomous activity. A tremendous amount of work has gone into preparing for a safe return to football this fall, including drastically limiting the number of people allowed in our stadium. We will continue to closely monitor this ever-evolving situation, and Wren Baker, Vice President and Director of Athletics, and I will not hesitate to modify our current plans if necessary.

As we continue to face this pandemic, please remember that we all have a shared responsibility to do our part to help protect the safety and health of our UNT community. I trust that as leaders in our community, you will demonstrate responsibility and compassion toward one another as we proceed cautiously through the fall semester.


Neal Smatresk
UNT President