Presidential Message: Sophia University’s response to the declaration of a State of Emergency

April 24, 2021
Yoshiaki Terumichi
President of Sophia University

Dear Students,

Welcoming the new semester, I am sure that you have all started your student life with fresh feelings toward your dreams and goals this April. Sophia University has taken every infection prevention measure possible so that you would feel safe in your student life, and we have sought to maintain in-person activities through a concerted effort shared among students, faculty and staff. I am very grateful for your cooperation and understanding.

However, due to fears of an explosive spread of COVID-19 infections in the Tokyo Metropolitan area, the Government has decided to declare a State of Emergency in Tokyo. Given these circumstances, based on careful consideration, Sophia University will cancel all classes scheduled from April 26 through May 1, and temporarily offer classes online from May 6 through May 11, when the state of emergency declaration is to be lifted. Some classes, however, will be delivered in person even during this period.

The COVID-19 variants, which are considered to be the cause of the recent explosive growth in infections, have been reported to be extremely infectious, with a higher rate of infections among young people and high risk of increased severity. In light of the intentions of declaring a State of Emergency to execute a strong measure to temporarily stop human movement around Golden Week, and in order to fulfill our social responsibility of keeping our healthcare system from collapsing, as well as to protect the health of our students, faculty and staff and their families, we have arrived at the conclusion that we cannot avoid implementing a temporary change to our campus operations, which embrace more than 10,000 people.

The University faculty and staff share your regret. On or after May 12, once we are able to confirm that it would be safe to welcome you back on campus, we will promptly resume in-person classes. How classes will be offered beyond May 12 will be determined and announced on May 7, taking into consideration prospects of the State of Emergency declaration being lifted as well as the state of infections in the Tokyo Metropolitan area and within the university.

Even during the State of Emergency, university facilities, including the library, will be open for student use. Consultations on job searching, scholarships, and other concerns will be continued via email, telephone and in person. I am sure that many of you who have just started living away from home still feel insecure about various matters, including how to join classes online. In these challenging times, the University is prepared to support you in every way it can.

I strongly request that you act with the self-awareness that you are a student of Sophia University on and outside campus, in order to protect the health of not only yourselves, but also your family, friends, and other people dear to you. I ask for your cooperation and understanding in overcoming these shared challenges together.

Sophia University

For Others, With Others