COVID-19 guidelines vary slightly across small Texas universities

Baylor students are not required to wear a mask outdoors. Baylor's COVID-19 protocols are different than those of other schools, such as Texas Christian University, Southern Methodist University, Trinity University, the University of Texas at Dallas and Rice University. Grace Fortier | Photographer

By Ana Ruiz Brictson | Staff Writer

Students from Texas Christian University, Southern Methodist University, Trinity University, the University of Texas at Dallas and Rice University explained how their COVID-19 protocols compare to Baylor’s.

TCU’s COVID-19 guidelines require students to wear masks indoors and encourage people to get the vaccine.

Southern Methodist University junior Javier Avila said that the school does enforce the mask policy for students when they are indoors but that he has noticed that most students have to be asked once or twice in order for them to actually wear it.

“So far, the institution is doing what they can,” Avila said.

Avila also said that there are no weekly testing requirements for students as of now and that there are occasional spikes in the number of positive cases.

Trinity University sophomore Emma Pounds said she feels the school has been more intense than other schools.

“A lot of the times, it feels like it’s a lot, especially when you see big schools are more relaxed with the situation,” Pounds said.

Currently, Trinity’s COVID-19 guidelines include having to wear masks during class, and there are isolation dorms for students who test positive.

Rice University sophomore Ethan Kao said his experience from last year to this year has changed in the number of freedom students get, but he said he still believes the school has been very strict regarding its policies.

“Students have to get tested once weekly for vaccinated people and twice for unvaccinated people,” Kao said.

Kao also said there have been many banned events, and because there are occasional spikes in the number of positive cases, Rice University continues to modify the rules according to the results.

“All the classes have been moved back in person, so we’ve been doing well with that, but they’re pretty strict here,” Kao said.

UT Dallas freshman Elle Kirby said that students right now are using a hybrid setting, meaning they are taking classes online and going in person once a week.

“I think they are doing their best,” Kirby said. “It’s 1% or less of the student body who are testing positive.”

Kirby also said students who are not comfortable attending their in-person classes can choose to not go.

Compared to Baylor, most of the universities that are similar in population have the same guidelines, if not stricter. They are policies that will remain throughout the semester as there are new updates on statistics and guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.