As SMU students moved into their residential commons or apartments last week, SMU President R. Gerald Turner and vice president for student affairs K.C. Mmeje warned students that for the university “to complete the SMU fall semester on campus… potential parties must be canceled before they begin.”
In a message shared to the campus community, Turner and Mmeje acknowledged that several universities that recently began their fall semesters have had to call them off or delay them because of COVID-19 infections from off-campus parties.
“Any person or organization who organizes such a reckless party will be seriously disciplined for putting the entire campus at risk…What has happened at other universities can be prevented at SMU, but it will require those who might host such events choosing not to do so, and those invited to any that are planned, choosing not to attend,” the message reads. “Therefore, as we look forward to gathering for the first day of class on Monday, we must all take responsibility during this weekend and afterward for the health and well-being of the entire campus. If we do not, we will join those universities that have had to cancel in-person classes.”
Turner and Mmeje also advised students to meet in groups of 10 or fewer, wear masks, and maintain social distancing.