Gearing Up for Fall 2021

A Message from Monica Mendez-Grant, VP for Student Life

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.

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

Page last updated 12:36 PM, February 16, 2022