April 27, 2021
President Renta Nishihara
Dear Rikkyo students,
I am sure that each of you had a good start for your campus life as the new academic
Year 2021 began this April. We thoroughly took all possible measures for the viral prevention in the classrooms and on campus at Rikkyo University and resumed in-person classes and extracurricular activities on campus as we were fully prepared. It has been exciting for our faculty and staff to see you smile on our campuses in Ikebukuro and Niiza.
However, as we experience a rapid increase of COVID-19 positive cases in Tokyo Metropolitan areas, the semi-emergency viral spread prevention measures were enforced for Tokyo on April 12 and Saitama on April 20. It is reported by the media that in the viral expansion of today called “the 4th wave,” the prevalence of the variant N501Y has been identified and the ratio of infection has been high especially among the young people. In addition, on April 23, the national government made an official decision to declare a state of emergency for Tokyo. In response to this decision, Rikkyo University was requested to restrict a stream of people.
Although your student life just started on campus, we have decided to respond to the government’s request and restrict a stream of people. Above all, we came to a conclusion to make a temporary alteration so that we can protect the “life and health” of our students, faculty and staff and also continue your studies although we are in a state of emergency.
To be precise, the restriction level in Rikkyo’s policy to restrict activities (regular courses) for the prevention of coronavirus spread will be raised from level 1 (Positive cases are stable) to level 3 (A state of emergency has been declared, but the entry to campus has not been restricted), and basically, our classes are conducted online only. Please note that as for the classes, in which in-person instructions are considered to be necessary, we will continue such classes to be conducted in person, while conducting online instructions synchronously as we take thorough measures of the viral prevention.
Please understand that our faculty and staff are aware of the significance for the classes to be conducted in person, and we really hoped that we could continue our in-person classes as they are, but we eventually came to a conclusion to decide on the temporary alteration. For the time being, this alteration will be temporary and effective until Tuesday, June 1 (the end of Semester 1 of Spring Semester). Judging from a number of conditions comprehensively, we aim to resume our classes to be conducted in-person immediately when the situation allows. Please continue to check our notifications from the University and check the status of your classes.
From what we experienced in the last academic year, we came to realize the value of the studies to use online instructions and also the advantages and potential for students’ activities. I would like you to work on your studies in a positive manner and challenge yourself the studies which may be possible only via online.
In addition, I have requests for all Rikkyo students. Please take positive action for the viral prevention and for the protection of life and studies. First of all, it is important for each one of you to conduct health management and self-management. It is needless to say that you should be careful on campus, but you must be particularly careful when you speak with others as you dine with others off campus. Please make sure not to organize the social gatherings or parties with the members of your seminars or student circles or clubs, in which dining and drinking are included. I want you to observe this rule to prevent the virus from spreading appropriately in your daily life, which will lead to protect “life and health” of your beloved family and friends as well as yourself.
Your entry to the campuses in Ikebukuro and Niiza is allowed during the period of this temporary alteration of our course implementation policy. You also may visit library and some of the classroom facilities according to their conditions. Please do not hesitate to ask us at the counter of administrative offices when you have concerns or something to confirm as you spend a student life. Our faculty and staff members will do their best to support your studies and life. Let us think and work together and overcome all these difficult times.
The challenges for us to confront are also to confirm our responsibilities as we learn confronting this historic situation of the global pandemic caused by COVID-19. Original meanings of “liberal arts” which we value can be summarized in the following points: (1) truly necessary “knowledge” as long as we live, (2) sensitivity to sympathize others’ pains and share their suffering, (3) global perspective of world history and human history and historical perception, and (4) global talent
At this moment, international travels across the borders are still restricted to prevent the viral spread of COVID-19. Therefore, I would like you to have a close look at the world in a great hardship today. I would like you to think about the future which lies ahead.
Please keep in your mind that those suffering from the illness will be given the medical treatment they need. May the health of all those who are working to end this pandemic, medical staff and the people who support the patients will be protected. May there be comfort for those who have died and for their families who are left behind. May all those who are facing uncertainty and confusion will receive support.
Let us sincerely pray those things above and continue to learn from “true liberal arts,” which may be able to play an important role to the issues we confront today.
© 立教大学 Rikkyo University