- Texas Parent
As an extended part of the Longhorn family, there are times you may seek assistance from Student Emergency Services (SES). This may range from academic concerns to personal and physical/mental health issues. You are an integral part of your student's experience at UT Austin, and SES can help in navigating university resources.
While SES wishes to assist families in times of concern, our first priority must be to our students. SES cannot violate confidentiality or provide information restricted by the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). FERPA is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student educational records and gives students (over the age of 18 or attending an institution of higher education) the right to access and correct their records. Other than directory information, information contained in the educational records cannot be shared without the students written consent. For additional information, please click here.
Frequently Asked Questions
What do I do if I cannot contact my student?
Between academic obligations, extracurricular activities, and social engagements, our students are very busy and getting them to call family can often be difficult. If you have not been able to reach your student for a significant period of time, it may be a sign of a more serious problem. If you believe your student may be missing or in distress, please contact our office immediately (512-471-5017) Mon-Fri 8am-5pm or our Behavior Concern Advice Line (BCAL - 512-232-5050) 24 hrs. If you have any immediate safety concerns, please contact the University Police Department (UTPD) at 911.
What do I do if my student is seriously ill or injured?
Student Emergency Services in the Office of the Dean of Students can provide professors and on-campus supervisors with electronic or written letters notifying them of your student's absence. Please note, our office does require supporting documentation (e.g., a doctor's note or letter from primary care provider) to verify your student's illness or injury. Most faculty are understanding of absences due to illness and injury, but the degree to which they can be flexible is entirely at their discretion.
In cases where the illness or injury requires a significant number of absences from classes, medical withdrawal or cancellation of registration may be necessary. Medical or mental health withdrawals/cancellations are handled by Services for Students with Disabilities, University Health Services (UHS), the Counseling and Mental Health Center (CMHC) and the student's academic college. Student Emergency Services can explore this option with your student and can facilitate the withdrawal/cancellation process. For more information and to download medical/mental health withdrawal forms click here.
What do I do if there is a death in the family?
Most faculty and staff are understanding of absences due to family emergencies. Student Emergency Services in the Office of the Dean of Students can provide professors and supervisors with electronic or written letters notifying them of your student's absence. Please note, our office does require supporting documentation (e.g., obituary, funeral announcement) to verify your student's absence. The degree to which faculty can be flexible is entirely at their discretion.
What type of assistance does SES provide in the event of a student death?
DoS can help families with any matter related to their student, including notification of university staff, organizing grief interventions for friends and peers, the possibility of tuition refunds, and other campus-related concerns. Once we are notified of a current student's death, we also work with parents to coordinate a memorial flag lowering ceremony. At the request of the family, the Texas flag is lowered by the University of Texas Honor Guard and is flown at half-mast. Although the flag can be lowered without the presence of others, many families and friends choose to attend and speak at the flag-lowering ceremony, which is held within 60 days after the Office of the Dean of Students is notified of the student's death.
In addition to the flag-lowering ceremony, the Office of the Dean of Students works with the UT Cares Committee and the Office of Relationship Management and University Events on the annual UT Remembers Ceremony. This ceremony was created to honor members of the university community, including current and former students, as well as current and retired faculty and staff, who died in the prior year. For more information about UT Remembers, click click here.
I have other questions about being the parent of a Longhorn – who should I ask?
Texas Parents is resource dedicated to helping parents help their students. Don't hesitate to call Texas Parents at 512-471-2353 with questions. Parents can also join the Texas Parents Association, the official parents' association of UT Austin, to receive exclusive communications and member benefits.