From Student Life

Student Life Messages

Fall Classes, Events and COVID-19 (Aug. 16, 2021)

Dear TWU Students,

As Dr. Feyten indicated in her note to faculty and staff this past week, our mantra for the past 18 months has been to remain fluid, and for the next few weeks at least, we will continue doing so.

Protect yourself and others

Across the state, the evidence is clear that COVID-19 vaccines are remarkably effective at preventing severe illness and death. We ask that you continue to wear masks indoors, and we encourage you to get vaccinated if you have not already done so. To make it easier for you, Student Health Services has partnered with the State Department of Health to offer on-campus vaccination clinics in Denton (open to Dallas students as well) during move-in on Monday, August 16 and Tuesday, August 17. Additionally, we have requested vaccines so that we can administer those as needed through our Student Health Services. Students in Houston can obtain a vaccine at UT Houston and can make an appointment with UT Physicians.

In conjunction with the start of the fall semester, we are launching our “Community of Immunity” initiative, which will award prizes based on overall vaccination rates of 70%, 80% and 90%. Approximately $150,000 in laptops, tuition scholarships, parking passes and more will be awarded!

Vaccinated students should follow the instructions on the Student Health Services website and upload your vaccination status now. If you have issues with uploading, please contact Student Health Services. It’s also a good idea to bring your vaccination card with you to campus in the event that you have issues uploading your information.

Unvaccinated students that have been identified as having a known exposure to a COVID-19 positive person will be required to quarantine for at least 10 days or longer depending on testing. If a student is unvaccinated and can prove a COVID-19 diagnosis and recovery in the last three months, quarantine will not be required. Additionally, TWU anticipates implementing a new program that will require routine testing for unvaccinated students. Those who have been vaccinated will be exempt from this testing requirement. More information will be forthcoming.

We continue to update our coronavirus website with useful information. For example, you can find the reporting form there should you ever test positive for COVID-19, become exposed to someone who tests positive, or begin to exhibit symptoms. Risk Management staff continue to follow CDC guidance on contact tracing.

Face-to-face classes

We know that many of you want and expect face-to-face classes this fall. Some--students, faculty and staff--are also anxious about personal and family safety. So, for the first three weeks of classes (a timeline informed by epidemiologists’ modeling), please remain as flexible as possible. Rather than pivoting to fully online teaching and learning, faculty have been encouraged to find ways for in-person engagement each week. What that means is that some of you may continue meeting in-person while others may only meet once each week rather than twice or other scenarios.

Events

Student Life will continue to offer planned events, like Block Party and other Pioneer Camp and Maroon Madness in-person, many of which are also outdoors. Masks and social distancing will be encouraged at these events as well as others planned throughout the semester.

Per CDC guidelines, vaccination combined with mask wearing is our best strategy at mitigating the spread of COVID-19 during this current surge. Our Chancellor and President, Dr. Carine Feyten, continues to bring together administration to ensure we are doing what is possible to ensure the safety of our students, faculty and staff. TWU will continue this practice until this pandemic has run its course. Thank you for your efforts to keep the campuses of TWU safe and healthy this upcoming academic year!

Sincerely,

Monica Mendez-Grant, Ed.D.
Vice President for Student Life

Gearing Up for Fall 2021 (Aug. 6, 2021)

Dear Pioneers,

I am excited to welcome back our Pioneers and welcome our newest Pioneers to campus. For our students who intend to take classes in person, I want to assure you that your university has your safety in mind. We continue to see increases in COVID-19 cases in Texas and the nation and therefore, there is understandable concern regarding the approach of the fall semester.

We encourage all students, faculty and staff to get the COVID-19 vaccine if they haven’t done so already.  Current research indicates that Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines have high efficacy rates against the delta variant in preventing hospitalization and death, although no vaccine is 100% effective.  TWU will offer vaccine clinics on August 16 and August 17 in Hubbard Hall on the Denton campus. Students in Houston can obtain a vaccine at UT Houston and can make an appointment with UT Physicians.

Face masks were extremely effective at preventing the spread of COVID-19 on our campuses last year; there were no documented cases of classroom transmission. That success exemplifies our “Campus with a Heart” culture of caring for one another. The university cannot mandate vaccines nor mask wearing; however, TWU does strongly recommend the implementation of these mitigation efforts.  Consistent with newly issued CDC guidelines, we recommend wearing masks indoors, especially in large gatherings or when people are unable to social distance. A recent poll by Intelligent.com found that the majority of students surveyed indicated they would be willing to wear masks this fall and that recommendations from the CDC are the most important factor in this decision.

Additionally, we will continue our efforts with contact tracing based on self-reporting for COVID exposure. Please complete the COVID-19 Reporting Form if you are exhibiting symptoms of COVID or have been exposed to COVID. TWU is following CDC guidance related to quarantine requirements, and completing these forms will help us with our efforts to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

A significant proportion of those infected with COVID-19 are asymptomatic and don’t know they are infected. The delta variant that is spreading rapidly often causes mild symptoms like a cold (headache, sore throat, runny nose and fever). If you are sick—do not go to class or work. In Denton and Dallas, you can call TWU Student Health Services at 940-898-3826 for an appointment. In Houston, TWU Student Health Services may be able to provide assistance via Telehealth, or you can call UT Health Services at 713-500-5171. If you have been tested for COVID-19 and are waiting for results, stay in isolation (do not go to class or work) until you receive your test results.

As always, TWU’s Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) will provide counseling services as well as workshops to help students cope with the stressors caused by COVID-19.  

As part of our efforts to promote a safe campus environment, TWU is launching our Community of Immunity challenge that will include campus-wide incentives based on overall student vaccination rates. Additionally, we will have masks available in classrooms and will encourage wearing masks as well. Per CDC guidelines, vaccination combined with mask wearing is our best strategy at mitigating the spread of COVID-19 during this current surge.  Thank you for your efforts to keep the campuses of TWU safe and healthy this upcoming academic year!

Sincerely,

Monica Mendez-Grant, Ed.D.
Vice President for Student Life

COVID-19 update - Dr. Monica Mendez-Grant (Nov 4, 2020)

Dear TWU Parents and Familias,

Believe it or not, we are a little over half-way through this unusual fall semester. I wanted to reach out today to provide a few reminders and updates as well as share some good news and address how we see the spring semester unfolding.

Health and Safety
The health and safety of your students is our top priority. We know that they cannot learn if they are not well, so in addition to our safety and social distancing protocols, we are currently offering free mobile COVID-19 testing and a flu shot clinic on the Denton campus.

We believe that the measures we have put in place, including the creation of isolation and quarantine floors in the residence halls, have been effective in managing the virus, and the number of confirmed cases is lower than we expected.

We will continue to monitor the situation and adjust as needed, but it's encouraging to see our students staying vigilant and following the recommendations.

2020-2021 Calendar
At this time, our calendar and outlook have not changed for the spring semester. We will offer a mixture of online, hybrid and in-person learning options. Classes will start on January 11, 2021, and we will have spring break March 8-12, 2021.

Additionally, there are no changes to our Fall 2020 calendar, and we will continue as planned with regard to Thanksgiving, commencement and winter break.

Good News
At TWU, we pride ourselves on being a welcoming environment for everyone, and earlier this semester Texas Woman's University was ranked as No. 1 in Texas and No. 5 in the nation for diversity by U.S. News and World Report.

Reminders
Whether students are learning in-person or online, please keep encouraging your students to use the resources that are available to them. We have people that can help them if they are struggling with overcoming mental health issues, finding a job, paying for college, completing financial aid forms and so much more.

As we continue to take this semester day by day, encourage your students to remain focused on their goals, to seek and ask for help when they need it and to remember that there are a lot of people rooting for them. Our students have accomplished a lot already, but in the words of Robert Frost, they have miles to go before they sleep!

Thank you for your continued support, and stay safe.

With Pioneer Pride,

Monica Mendez-Grant
Vice President for Student Life

Fall 2020 Return to Campus (July 26, 2020 at 10:50 a.m.)

Dear TWU Students and Families,

This past week, our academic leaders completed the compilation of classes for the fall semester, which will include online, hybrid and in-person learning options for students. Our goal is to create an environment that is as safe as possible for all community members, while reigniting the teaching, learning and research that makes TWU a stellar community of learners.

The academic plan provides a framework for the fall that is designed to accommodate the dynamic environment we’re facing and enable us to adapt to changes in the prevalence of COVID-19. Every effort has been made to support the needs of our unique campus. Our faculty have adapted courses and developed an innovative range of formats for teaching and learning, including the addition of online courses in recent weeks. Additionally, there will be hybrid classes and in-person classes. In-person classes will be focused in certain disciplines that require more face-to-face support such as the sciences, occupational therapy, physical therapy, dental hygiene and some performing arts.

In addition, there was a large effort to also teach first- and second-year core classes in person to allow for the development of community and to meet the unique needs of first-generation college students who may be transitioning to a university setting for the first time. For students and families, we want you to have the ability to make informed choices about how you experience the fall semester, while keeping in mind that COVID-19 and its spread in Texas will continue to shape the exact ways we teach, learn and work both on and off campus. We are also reimagining student life activities—to hold them either fully or partially online or in outdoor spaces.

Academics

There will be three modes of classes:

  • Online — A class designed from the ground up so all students can attend the main class experience online.
  • Hybrid — A class that has both in-person and remote learning elements with the frequency of in-person learning based on instructional needs. Specific frequency of in-person class meetings will vary by course and may be modified by departments in consultation with their deans during the semester as conditions change.
  • In-person — A class for which there is at least some essential material that can be acquired only through in-person attendance.
  • Faculty are prepared to work with students who become ill and are unable to progress while sitting in a classroom environment.
  • Online, hybrid and in-person courses will have the same tuition and fee rates.
  • Every course will have an instructional continuity plan in the event that the situation with COVID requires changes.

Health and Wellness

Wearing cloth masks at all times when inside university owned and controlled buildings will be mandatory except:

  • When alone in a private office.
  • For students, when alone — or with a roommate — in an assigned dorm room.
  • When eating and drinking while practicing social distancing — including in a campus dining facility.
  • When an alternative has been approved as part of the Americans with Disabilities Act or religious observance accommodation processes.

Students who have a documented health condition or disability that may prevent them from wearing a face covering are encouraged to register for accommodations at Disability Services for Students.

While wearing cloth masks outdoors is not required, we encourage everyone to be mindful of the health of others. Hand hygiene products and cleaning stations will be readily available across campus, and we encourage all members of the campus community to carry personal hand sanitizing products.

Additionally, all students will participate in training regarding how to maintain safety on campus, and will take the Pioneer Pact and will commit to respecting the health and safety of others.

Residence Halls

All halls will have a phased move-in beginning August 16. Residence halls will operate with social distancing measures and cloth mask requirements in place. The number of family members accompanying a student for move-in will be limited.

We will have a planned outdoor concert with multiple venues to allow for social distancing during the week of Pioneer Camp activities following move-in. Most rooms in residence halls will be slated as double occupancy, with a limited number of single occupancy rooms.

Financial Assistance

TWU is committed to affordability. If there has been a significant change in your financial circumstances due to COVID-19, please contact our Financial Aid office for assistance. Starting Monday, August 3, Financial Aid will be set up in the Student Union at Hubbard Hall from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. to answer questions in a face-to-face, socially distanced format.

Additionally, on July 22, Gov. Abbott announced that the State of Texas would allocate an additional $118 million in federal funding to support higher education. As we learn more about those distributions and how they could impact you, we will let you know.

As we continue to modify and solidify our plans, please review the information about Fall 2020 on our website. We wish you much success in the upcoming year and look forward to welcoming you back to campus!

With Pioneer Pride,
Student Life and Academic Affairs

 

Fall 2020 Return to Campus (June 24 at 1:00 PM)

Dear TWU Students and Families,

We look forward to having you/your student back on campus for the Fall 2020 semester and are actively preparing for your arrival! As we do, we want to share information with you about some of the safety measures we are implementing during this time of COVID-19 to mitigate risk.

In coordination with TWU's Risk Management team, we have put into place as many safeguards as we can. Ultimately, whether or not we are able to maintain community health and allow for a successful fall semester will be determined by our collective commitment to proactively engage in the behaviors associated with the prevention of community spread of this virus.

We will provide education and frequent reminders about essential preventative behaviors, including:

  • Wearing face coverings in public spaces when possible (students who cannot wear face coverings due to health or other reasons may seek accommodations)
  • Practicing social distancing
  • Engaging in frequent hand washing and sanitizingStaying home when ill and/or exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms
  • Staying home when ill and/or exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms
  • Self-isolating following direct exposure to or diagnosis of COVID-19.

What we know for certain is that our efforts cannot be successful without you. We ask that you familiarize yourself with the information presented in the attached document and hope that it will be helpful to you as you prepare to resume classes this fall.

Most importantly, we hope that you will join us in our effort to be TWU Pioneers who care for and protect one another by consistently doing your part to engage in health sustaining behaviors both on and off campus.

Sincerely,

Monica Mendez-Grant
Vice President for Student Life

TWU Return to Campus Fall 2020

COVID-19 Update: Housing and Dining (March 23, 2020 at 5 p.m.)

Dear Student and Parents,

By now, you have received communication from TWU’s Chancellor and President, Dr. Carine Feyten, indicating Texas Woman’s recommendation for restricted access to campus. Please know that as an institution, we are doing everything we can to provide a continuation of services so that students can maintain access to their education until this health crisis is over.

As a student-centered university, TWU considers providing affordable, accessible options central to our mission and strives to ease the financial burden students face when pursuing higher education. Our commitment to maintaining affordability remains at the forefront of all of our decisions through this crisis as well.

University Housing and Dining has been actively listening to our students and their families as we navigate this rapidly evolving health crisis and have made the following decisions.

  • TWU Housing and Dining Services will remain open for those who choose to stay in their residence hall to complete their course work remotely for the remainder of the semester.
  • This last week, some students chose to leave TWU’s residence halls to complete their coursework from a distance. Students who voluntarily checked out of their rooms will receive a prorated credit for housing based on a check-out date of March 23.
  • The prorated housing credit will be applied to the students’ remaining account balance. Any additional credit would be applied to a future term within the next twelve months and can be applied to housing, dining, or tuition and fees.
  • The Spring 2020 Dining meal plan credits will be calculated and a prorated amount will be applied for a future term and will be required to be utilized by December 15, 2020.
  • Students who still have belongings on campus on Friday, March 27, will be considered “living on campus” for the remainder of the Spring 2020 term and will be ineligible for housing prorated credit as the student’s current space is occupied. Spring 2020 Dining Dollars credit will be calculated and the remaining amount will be applied for a future term.

We understand some of our students have nowhere else to go at this time or it is simply safer to stay on campus. Therefore, TWU will continue to find ways to increase social distancing and implement additional cleaning measures for those who have remained on campus. Finally, we are still providing all the amenities for students—with an added emphasis on health and safety—while working even harder to provide the best-in-class educational experience to the students who have left and are still receiving their education remotely.

My best wishes to you for a safe spring 2020 remainder of the semester.


With Pioneer Pride,

Monica Mendez-Grant
Vice President for Student Life

Update - All Students (March 18, 2020 at 9 a.m.)

Dear Students,

As you know, TWU has made the decision to complete the remainder of the semester via online courses. This decision will create new challenges for many of our students, and we are committed to helping you complete the semester within the context of this new normal.

Staff members from across the university are working to support the university’s priorities. Some services, like Dining and the Library, will limit hours, so check their websites for details and updates. Many services on campus will remain open in order to assist you, including:

Work Study

We know work study impacts many students. According to the Department of Education, universities can continue to pay students via work study even if they aren’t working due to closures related to COVID-19. Under the department’s guidelines, colleges can still pay students through the Federal Work Study program as long as the college is paying other faculty and staff and continues to pay for its share of the program. (In most cases, colleges–or the employer–and the federal government split the cost of work study.) For those of you employed through work study, I expect more information will be forthcoming from your supervisor.

Internet Connectivity Available for Students

With the transition comes questions about access and connectivity. The FCC has recently made an agreement with providers stating late fees will be waived and service will not be terminated for lack of payment. https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DOC-363033A1.pdf Additionally, several providers are offering additional options. To assist you, a few options are listed below:

Academic Accommodations

As we move to all online delivery of courses, you may need to submit a request for academic accommodations. Students do not need any documentation or doctor's notes for requests related to the virus.

Programming

In an effort to meet you where you are, Student Life programming will migrate to providing online options to help keep you connected during this time. While all in-person athletics games, events and activities will be canceled through the end of the spring semester, virtual options will be offered when feasible, so be sure to keep an eye out for our student newsletter and social media posts.

We recognize this is an uncertain time, and that through this rapidly evolving situation you have ongoing concerns. These major disruptions to life can cause a lot of mixed feelings and emotions. Our leadership is meeting regularly to address and enact response efforts as the situation continues to evolve. Thank you for your patience while understanding that additional changes and modifications may be necessary. Please remember to take care of one another. We are all in this together.

Sincerely,

Monica Mendez-Grant
Vice President for Student Life

COVID-19 Update -TWU Residential Students (March 17, 2020 at 9:28 a.m.)

Dear Students,

By now you have received the communication from Dr. Feyten about TWU’s decision to complete the remainder of the semester via online courses. This decision was not made lightly. I have been reminded this week how choices today may impact tomorrow. During this unprecedented moment in our history, I wanted to provide you with some additional updates specifically regarding housing and dining, student services available as well as an update on federal work-study. While I sincerely regret the disruption this decision will cause, please know your health and that of our broader campus community remains the University’s top priority.

Everyone who can go home and return to their permanent residence is encouraged to do so. However, for students who need to remain on campus because there is no other option, our residence halls and dining services will remain open for you. Please note that while these students remain on campus, these students will also complete their courses online.

Housing Check-Out Process

  • Check-out will require a process similar to check-in so that not everyone is on campus at the same time in compliance with social distancing guidelines. While we will offer express check-out, you will need to turn in your key to hall staff or the front desk.
  • Check-out will begin on Wednesday, March 18 and will continue through Sunday, March 22.
  • If friends or family will help you move, please limit the number of people to 2 or 3.
  • If you are feeling sick, we will work out an alternate check-out schedule for you. Please stay off campus (if home) or in your dorm if you are sick during the move out event so we may follow CDC guidelines for keeping our community health.
  • Large bins, dollies or carts will not be available (for safety reasons), so be prepared to carry things or bring your own dollies.
  • Students will not be charged a contract breakage fee for university housing. We are taking into account all considerations and factors, including the impact of a decision to an individual’s student financial aid. More information will be forthcoming.

STUDENTS REMAINING ON-CAMPUS
Operational Updates

  • We will continue to have staff available for assistance.
  • In addition to Dining and Housing, Student Health, Counseling, Disability Support, Student Life, Library, Center for Student Development, Student Union and Financial Aid are among the essential offices that will remain open during this time as well.
  • Mail and package delivery may be delayed.
  • Limited Dining options will be available.

Programmatic Updates (following check-out)

  • Non-residents will not be permitted in the residence halls.
  • Remaining residents may be moved and/or consolidated to promote safety measures.
  • Empty rooms will be disinfected.
  • Residence hall programming will be limited.
  • Supplies such as board games, moving carts and dollies will be unavailable for check out.

Housing & Dining Protocols

In our residence halls

  • All high touch areas are being wiped down multiple times each day.
  • Trash is removed daily.
  • Disinfectants are rotated to increase effectiveness of eliminating germs.

In our dining locations

  • All high touch areas are being wiped down multiple times each day.
  • Hours have been modified to allow for deeper cleaning so that all surface areas and doors can be cleaned and sanitized.
  • Condiments, cereal and utensils are now individually packaged.
  • Use of personal cups at our water and soda fountains has been suspended.
  • All self-serve options have been modified to full-service.
  • We have gone cash free to reduce exposure to germs.

Work Study

We know work study impacts many students. According to the U.S. Department of Education, “For students enrolled and performing Federal Work Study (FWS) at a campus that must close due to COVID-19, or for a FWS student who is employed by an employer that closes as a result of COVID-19, the institution may continue paying the student Federal Work Study wages during that closure if it occurred after the beginning of the term, if the institution is continuing to pay its other employees (including faculty/staff), and the institution continues to meet its institutional wage share requirement.” TWU is committed to ensuring your success and has intentions of supporting you. I expect more information will be forthcoming from your supervisor.

Our primary concern is for your safety and well-being. If you are able to go home, we encourage you to do so. We know that preparing to move on short notice is not easy, and we appreciate your flexibility, patience and understanding as we continue to work through this difficult time. I have enormous pride in our community, and I trust that this will be a time for us to come together to support each other in the challenging days ahead.

Sincerely,
Monica Mendez-Grant
Vice President for Student Life

Page last updated 8:39 AM, August 17, 2021