To all Students of Sophia University
- at the Beginning of the New Academic Year
April 1, 2020
President of Sophia University
The new academic year has started today. Normally, we would be welcoming our new students on campus and our campus would be filled with renewed energy unique to this preliminary period of preparing for the new academic year in various dimensions. However, the campus remains empty and quiet today. The faculty and staff at Sophia University deeply regret that we cannot turn this new page together.
There is no visible end to the spread of the rampant novel coronavirus and the global confusion that it has caused. I would like to send my deepest condolences to those who have passed away and their families and pray for the quick recovery of all who have taken ill.
How are you addressing this global challenge? What are your thoughts about it? Several requests have been made that place certain restrictions on our lives. Some people have criticized the ambiguity of criteria, including the definition of “unnecessary and non-urgent” and the extent of self-restraint expected, but now I would like to strongly request your good judgment to protect lives.
Our educational spirit at Sophia University, "Men and Women for Others, with Others" calls out to each one of you to act with consideration for others, especially the vulnerable, guided by a spirit of service and exercising wisdom. The first effort we can make is to avoid becoming a transmitter of the virus. Carelessly becoming a transmitter means that you have become a threat not only to those close to you but to people living far away from you in the world. And at the same time, we are challenged with the risk of being directly affected ourselves. Everyone around the world is terrified of falling victim to the virus and is challenged with the enormous economic difficulties caused by it, and no one can dismiss the possibility of becoming the vulnerable individual who has difficulty maintaining his/her daily life.
Under these circumstances I would like you to recall your self-awareness as students of Sophia University. What can you do now? What should you do now? What role can you play once this crisis is overcome? Although the first day of class has been postponed, I would like to ask you to take the time to address these questions and seek your answers. We are being tested by the current tension. With the understanding that our way of being is being put to the test, please prepare yourself for the beginning of class.
I look forward to meeting you on campus soon. We may not yet have fully returned to peaceful times when we meet. However, I strongly hope that this crisis to provide you with food for thought and that you will envision the restoration and renewed development of society.
I will continue to pray for the early recovery of all people and the entire world.