At the Start of Semester 2 (Fall)
At last, Semester 2 (Fall) has begun. As you have heard previously, this semester will consist of both face-to-face and online classes.
Due to the spread of the Novel Coronavirus, there was no choice but to hold all classes online during Semester 1 (Spring). As this experience was the first of its kind, I think our students must have felt confused. In particular, our first-year students might not have even had the feeling that they had become university students due to the fact that they were not able to set foot within the campus.
While some students find online lessons to be effective, others have said that they have reached their limits with regards to staying in their rooms. We have also heard the voices of those who have been overwhelmed by feelings of obstruction and feel that their spirits have been eroded. There are advantages to online classes, but the campus is, after all, the basis of university learning.
One of the real pleasures of university life is having the chance to interact with one’s instructors and friends on campus. Learning requires a “learning place” to broaden one’s horizons. Face-to-face lessons are exactly that. Stimuli from others in this “learning place” shakes one’s values. Through discussion, one’s flaws become apparent. Growth is brought about through the guidance of one’s instructors and hard work with friends. Also characteristic of a “place of learning” is the cultivation of a strong ethical sense and broad view.
The value of face-to-face university classes does not fluctuate. However, in order to prevent the spread of infectious diseases such as the Novel Coronavirus and to ensure student safety, considering the lesson format becomes a necessity. Classes with a large number of students, for which it is difficult to avoid the Three C’s (Closed Spaces, Crowded Places, Close-Contact Settings), will be conducted online. Also, online lessons may be appropriate due to the subject’s specific characteristics. In addition, depending on the infection situation, policies may be changed to assure the safety of students, so please take great care when disseminating information from the university. We will continue to consider educational methods that combine face-to-face and online formats, from the perspective of working to improve educational quality.
The University took all possible infection prevention measures during the summer vacation and has been preparing to welcome students. (Ryukoku University’s Infectious Disease Control Efforts) However, on-campus infection prevention measures cannot be achieved by university efforts alone. It is necessary for each student to have a strong awareness of how to prevent infection.
Therefore, I have a request for everyone. Please be careful and prudent. Please give due consideration to your behavior in the cafeteria, as well as your behavior during breaks after face-to-face lessons. Don’t make noise within a close range as had been common previously. Of course, please also be careful regarding your conduct outside the university.
Please do your best to live a proper life, not to mention wearing a mask and washing your hands. Don’t overdo it when you’re not feeling well. These days, a new lifestyle (including social distancing and avoiding the Three C’s) is required. I’m sure that some may feel anxious and dissatisfied due to various restrictions. However, in this time of rapid societal change, the Novel Coronavirus causes us to ask how we should live in the future. As for interacting with university friends, new ways of communication should be considered, with an awareness of risks. Accept the reality and think hard about what you can do now. That is a technique by which you can rid yourself of stressful days. When entering society, you will face even more difficulties. During these limited student days, it’s absolutely necessary to learn the skills required for overcoming difficulties in order for you to be able to live in the future. Aim for a creative way of life.
Ryukoku University aims to create a campus where one can study with peace of mind, in order to improve thinking and exploration skills. These coronavirus woes are a signal that humanity has entered into a new era. I am convinced that our University’s Founding Spirit will also be useful in leading us in this new era. It is my sincere wish that you will deepen your studies at Ryukoku University.
Takashi Irisawa, President
Ryukoku University・Ryukoku University Junior College