Vaccine Scheduling Now Available at SMU

March 26, 2021

Dear SMU Community,

It’s here!  SMU is pleased to announce the campus is receiving an allotment of the COVID-19 vaccine for distribution to our University community. All SMU faculty, staff and students are eligible. Online registration will open at noon today, March 26, to schedule vaccination appointments beginning Monday, March 29. Vaccinations will be administered by appointment only at the SMU COVID-19 vaccination site on the northwest side of the Dr. Bob Smith Health Center.  

SMU’s initial allotment will be 1,170 “first doses” of the Pfizer vaccine and an equal number of “second doses” designated for the required follow-up appointments. Please use this registration link to schedule a vaccination appointment which is available on a first-come, first-serve basis. The registration button is also on the Mustang Strong vaccine page along with information about what to expect on the day of your appointment. If you have trouble registering, reach out to the Help Desk at 8-HELP (4357).

SMU does not currently have second-dose vaccines available for individuals who have already received their first shot of Pfizer or Moderna elsewhere, so please reach out to your initial vaccine provider to complete your treatment. Spouses and dependents of SMU employees and retirees are not currently eligible to register but may be at a later date

In addition to the on-campus vaccinations, all SMU students, staff and faculty may also register for the vaccine through the Methodist Health System. If the MHS system is full, please check that site frequently as more appointments will become available as supplies increase.

SMU has no information yet on when additional allotments of the vaccine might arrive on campus, so your patience is still needed. Please continue to wear your mask, practice social distancing, wash your hands often and remember to fill out the reporting tool once you receive your vaccine on the Mustang Strong vaccine website. Doing so will help the University determine how many vaccines to request and may help inform decisions about operational changes to the campus.

Do I have to take vacation/sick leave if I find a vaccine during working hours?

SMU encourages you to schedule a time to get your vaccine as soon as you are eligible and can find one. While you are not required to take vacation/sick leave to get your vaccine during working hours, you should notify your dean or manager if you miss time and also plan to make up any lost work.

Once you’ve taken the vaccine, please remember to update your status and report it through the reporting tool.

SMU to Remember Lives Lost on Pandemic Anniversary

March 8, 2021

Dear SMU Community,

One year ago this week, on March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a global pandemic. Two days later, on March 13, 2020, the SMU community left the Hilltop for an extended spring break, expecting to return for normal spring activities by the end of the month. Today, it’s hard to remember full classrooms or shaking hands with a professor, but we are hopeful for that time again.

On March 11, 2020, the WHO director-general reported more than 118,000 cases in 114 countries, and 4,291 lives lost due to COVID-19. As of Friday, there were over 116 million cases reported in approximately 218 countries, and 2.58 million people have lost their lives to COVID-19. These staggering numbers represent real people, our loved ones – members of the SMU community, our neighbors, our friends and our family. Some of us privately grieve deep personal loss as we all grieve our collective losses of the last year.

At noon on Thursday, March 11, SMU will pause to remember and reflect on these losses. Wherever you are on the Hilltop, you are invited to observe two minutes and 58 seconds of silence reflecting on the impact of this pandemic on your life, our communities and the world. At noon, a bell will toll from the carillon in Fondren Science Building, and at 12:03 p.m., a song of hope, Hymn of Promise, will play, reminding us “there’s a song in every silence.”

The words of WHO’s director-general one year ago still ring true today: “This is not just a public health crisis, it is a crisis that will touch every sector – so every sector and every individual must be involved in the fight …We’re in this together, to do the right things with calm and protect the citizens of the world.” We have now lived and experienced this truth for one full year. We have been and will continue to be world changers – masked up and caring for our neighbors from 6 feet apart! As vaccinations are distributed around the world, we are beginning to see, as the song says, “a dawn in every darkness bringing hope to you and me.”

Let us pause together at noon on Thursday to reflect, remember and look forward.

From the past will come the future;
what it holds, a mystery,
unrevealed until its season,
something God alone can see.

Mask Up! Pony Up! Stay Mustang Strong!

R. Gerald Turner

Rev. Lisa Garvin
Chaplain and Minister to the University

You are also invited to join Wednesday Worship at noon on March 17, 2021, for an opportunity to remember and name our personal and collective losses over the past year. The service at the flagpole will include the opportunity to write prayers on a ribbon that name your grief as part of a larger artistic display of our collective loss this year. Additional ribbons will be available in the Office of the Chaplain and Religious Life throughout March to add your prayers.

SMU Continues Current Campus Safety Protocols for COVID-19

March 3, 2021

Dear SMU Community,

Throughout the pandemic, SMU has based our safety protocols and campus operations on guidance from local, state and federal health officials. These measures, backed by our Pledge to Protect, have enabled the University to safely offer in-person classes and host important events such as commencement ceremonies and other celebrations on campus.

SMU will continue to follow our current guidelines requiring masks and social distancing on campus through the remainder of the Spring semester. In light of the Governor’s executive order to lift the state mandate on masks as well as other restrictions, we will continue to monitor and review industry-specific guidance and recommendations from the federal Centers for Disease Control and state public health authorities before implementing any changes to our safety guidelines. We are carefully listening to and considering concerns expressed by our campus community – our students, faculty, and staff – as well as parents who have entrusted us with their children’s wellbeing and education.

As reflected on the Mustang Strong website, the numbers of SMU positive COVID-19 cases, which rose as expected following winter break, are now dropping dramatically. We continue to request vaccines from the state, and we are fully prepared to begin vaccinating our campus community in a specially-designated vaccine site once we receive an allotment. We’re pleased that many faculty and staff members, as well as some students, have already received the vaccine at various off-campus locations. We are looking forward to an outdoor commencement ceremony in the spring and returning to a normal semester in the fall.

In the meantime, let’s keep doing what we have been doing. Stay the course, and Stay Mustang Strong.

SMU Releases New Vaccination Self-Reporting Survey

Dear SMU Community,

Like most universities in Texas, we’re patiently waiting for a COVID-19 vaccine allotment from the state. With this past weekend’s news of the Food and Drug Administration granting Emergency Use Authorization of Johnson and Johnson’s vaccine candidate, we’re optimistic some of the supply issues are being alleviated.

Each week, SMU requests an allotment from the State of Texas. To assess the quantity and doses that best meet the needs of our campus, it is important to know how many people have already been vaccinated or are scheduled to get either a single dose of the Johnson and Johnson or the first and/or second doses of Moderna or Pfizer vaccines. Please take a minute to fill out the self-reporting survey on this page – and keep it up to date – to report your vaccination progress.

Also, if you receive the vaccine in the future at an off-campus location, please update your vaccination status by completing the same survey. If you have not received the vaccine and are still unsure about which eligibility phase you fall into, the guided survey on the same page may also be helpful for you.

Providing information for this survey is voluntary, but is critically important to SMU’s efforts to manage the health and safety of the SMU community. Your willingness to assist SMU by sharing your vaccine status is appreciated.

Thank you for your cooperation.