End of Semester Message from the President

August 12, 2020
Yoshiaki Terumichi

Dear Students,

As Spring Semester 2020 comes to a close, on behalf of Sophia University, I would like to take this opportunity to extend my deepest gratitude and respect to all of you for rising to the multiple challenges of carrying on your studies amidst a global pandemic. Further, I would like to thank and commend you all for your fearless commitment to your studies, your resiliency, patience and understanding as we transitioned away from face-to-face course delivery to online learning and virtual instruction. Without a doubt, you have all been outstanding this semester.

The health and safety of each student is of utmost importance. Thus, faced with increasing cases of coronavirus (COVID-19), we regretfully canceled the Spring Semester entrance ceremony and orientation camp. For those of you who joined our student community this spring, please be assured that we have not forgotten you, nor the fact that you have yet to walk through the gates and experience Yotsuya Campus life. Faculty and administrative staff are working together monitoring the status of coronavirus infection numbers and rates as we are planning a hybrid welcome program – live on campus and online – for both Spring and Autumn Semester entrants. Your well-being is and will continue to be front and center in our decision making and we will inform you of the program once all has been confirmed.

As announced on Loyola, Autumn Semester lectures will continue to be offered online. After careful deliberations among Faculty, Administrative Staff and taking into account student opinions voiced in the online survey, it was decided that some courses, including those involving experiments, practical training and seminars will be held face-to-face (*1) in the Autumn Semester. All face-to-face courses will be subject to infection prevention measures and all participants will be required to strictly follow the guidelines to be announced. We invite you all to review the results of the student survey about online courses posted on the Loyola bulletin board. Your voices have been invaluable as we strive to improve our virtual instruction to meet your needs.

To ensure student support during this time of crisis, you are all welcome to seek out guidance at the Center for Academic Affairs, the Center for Student Affairs, the Health Center, the Counselling Center and each department. If you have a concern, please reach out and do not hesitate to request a consultation at any of these offices (*2). We understand that many students, including those who feel anxious about commuting to campus, those beyond commutable distances and many international students who are unable to exit their country and/or gain entry into Japan, wish for the continuation of online classes. For all students, please know that we are determined to make sure that no student is left behind nor suffers any disadvantages. Whatever the mode of instruction, we will take into account the diversity of student circumstances as we remain committed to offering high quality academic programming that will help you each achieve your educational goals and aspirations.

As we enter the summer break, the number of people testing positive for COVID-19 is dramatically increasing among all age groups. I ask all students to be conscious of your civil responsibilities and take the necessary precautions to ensure the health and safety of yourself, your family and friends and greater community. In this time of crisis we are all required to make lifestyle adjustments and I ask that you all take extra precautions when considering meeting with friends, going traveling and other activities outside of your homes. After deliberations about the current state of the COVID-19 crisis, Sophia University regretfully has no choice but to continue to limit access to Yotsuya Campus.

Sophia University will continue to explore new approaches to higher education while prioritizing the protection of the health and safety of our students and your families and others concerned to fulfill our social responsibility to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

I encourage you to maintain your commitment to your education, your life ambitions and dreams over the summer break. You are all are the leaders of tomorrow and your education will not only be critical to achieving your personal goals, but to helping create a resilient and healthy sustainable future for all as we emerge from these challenging times.

(*1) For details on courses offered face to face, the following post should be referred to: “Re: Autumn Semester courses to be offered face to face” posted on July 31 on the Center of Academic Affairs bulletin on the Loyola bulletin.
(*2) The contacts for consultation will be announced on Loyola, etc. as soon as they are ready.

Sophia University

For Others, With Others