There’s no doubt that the pandemic has changed how we live, learn, work and teach. We’ve been working hard across campus to welcome our new and continuing Mustangs this fall! Take a look at how we’re taking health and safety to heart as we continue to provide the high-quality academic and campus experiences that make up the signature SMU education.
Masks and distance
Three stampeding Mustangs wore their masks to remind the SMU community to follow safety protocols in the classroom and outside.
Academic advisors are available on Zoom and for limited drop-in services. Students are encouraged to schedule appointments when possible.
As part of the SMUFlex model, instructors will meet in person with approximately half of their students each week, while the other half of the class will simultaneously attend via Zoom. If an instructor has sufficient socially distanced space in their classroom to accommodate all of their students, they may choose to have all students attend every class period in person.
Pledge to Protect
In an effort to promote personal responsibility and community well-being, the SMU Community Action Network (SMU CAN) has developed a community “pledge to protect” we are asking all students, faculty and staff to sign before the fall semester. The Pledge to Protect SMU affirms that the SMU community will follow important safety measures, including contact tracing, social distancing and wearing face coverings.
As part of the SMUFlex model, instructors will meet in person with approximately half of their students each week, while the other half of the class will simultaneously attend via Zoom.
SMU students have opportunities to learn in SMUFlex and Virtual class formats.
Learn where you live
SMU’s Residential Commons will continue to integrate the academic and social aspects of a robust campus experience with virtual and in-person opportunities in each Residential Commons. Social distancing with face coverings will allow for smaller group events and opportunities to connect with each other and with the Faculty in Residence.
Campus tours continue
SMU ambassadors and tour guides lead the way so that future Mustangs can imagine themselves on campus.
‘Sonday’ meetups with Faculty in Residence David Son and family
Social distancing with face coverings enable smaller group events and opportunities for students to connect with one another and with Faculty in Residence.
Hitting the gym safely
In the Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports, students may still enjoy and benefit from a wide array of fitness activities and equipment by following safety rules – wearing face coverings at all times, reserving times to work out, and limiting the use of locker rooms and showers.
SMU’s Residence Life and Student Housing (RLSH) is working hard to provide a seamless and socially distanced fall move-in.
For students to continue to have a robust campus experience, maximum capacity has been identified in indoor lounge and lobby spaces so that students can connect with one another while social distancing and wearing face coverings.
Our Healthy Campus
Highly visible signage enables SMU’s commitment to the high-quality academic and co-curricular experience for which the University is known.
Along with reduced occupancy and limited access to enable social distancing and safety protocols in SMU libraries, books and other materials that are returned will be quarantined for 48 hours to reduce the risk of virus transmission.
Health Center services
In the wake of the pandemic, staff in the Dr. Bob Smith Health Center continued to provide services, even when students moved off campus this past spring. The Health Center is ready for fall with its unwavering commitment to serve our students.
The Dr. Bob Smith Health Center offers COVID-19 testing. The staff has been able to provide testing results to students within 24–48 hours of sample collection.
SMU has wellness pods and three residential facilities dedicated to isolation purposes. The capacity of the units will be monitored closely.
For students who need a place on campus to attend a virtual class, Zoom Rooms will be available by reservation.
Regular hours, reduced capacity enable safer experience at Meadows Museum
Visitors over age 2 must wear masks.
Legal help is a phone call away at Dedman Law clinic
Dedman School of Law launched a clinic project with an emergency helpline that offers North Texas residents and small businesses opportunities to secure free legal assistance with issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as housing, immigration, consumer protection, loan and grant programs, insurance, commercial leases and more. Working under the supervision of SMU Law Clinic faculty, more than 45 law students staff the COVID-19 Legal Helpline (214-SMU-COVD).
Helping create a mobile solution for a safer campus
SMU senior Ashley Montgomery ’21 was part of a team that won a RevTech Ventures grant to develop the MustangMobile app, a mobile student ID system that can be used for contactless transactions across campus to reduce the risk of virus transmissions.
Tech tools for COVID-19 guidance
Two digital health-monitoring tools help the SMU community make smart choices about coming to campus. With the Mustang Daily Symptom Checker, users determine whether they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and are guided on what to do next if they are. SMU has partnered with PathCheck Foundation, whose easy-to-use contact tracing app helps find and notify those on campus who might have come in contact with someone who later tests positive for COVID-19.
Students engage in pandemic research
In partnership with UT Dallas and SMU, retail technology venture capital firm RevTech offered a challenge grant for groups designing programs that would make higher education campuses safer during the pandemic. SMU students made up two of the five winning teams. This summer, 10 SMU undergraduate and graduate students who served as Maguire Public Service Fellows focused much of their work on pandemic-related issues.
Mustang Strong social tools to amplify safety measures
We’ve gone to great lengths to create and maintain a healthy campus, and we need your help and leadership as well to minimize the spread of COVID-19. The SMU community is using social media to spread the word about safe practices. Use the Social Media Tool Kit for a gallery of Mustang Strong graphics and content ideas to remind fellow Mustangs to keep one another safe.
Safe socializing bolsters the college experience
Students participate in fun online and outdoor activities. At the rescheduled PerunaPalooza, traditionally a spring festival that celebrates mascot Peruna’s birthday, students enjoy an outdoor concert, movie night on the Dallas Hall lawn and sanitized carnival games. More campus traditions will be enjoyed throughout the fall. See a glimpse here of campus life in a normal year.