Starting the Autumn Semester -Message from the President-

September 20, 2020
Yoshiaki Terumichi
President of Sophia University

The Autumn Semester will start on September 21. How did you spend your summer recess? While this summer has been different from what we are used to, I am sure that you have all spent a meaningful time. As we announced in July, at Sophia University, regarding the fall semester, classes will be continued to be offered mainly online, while some face-to-face classes on campus will be included.

On September 8-15, we held a welcoming event on Yotsuya Campus for new students that entered Sophia University in April. Many new students said they enjoyed communicating with faculty members and their peers and that they were glad to have joined the program. I, myself, was extremely happy to meet our new students in person and engage in dialogue with them. I renewed my determination to be fully committed to do everything I can do to support your university life.

We have been riding a seesaw in the novel coronavirus pandemic and continue to be challenged with a critical situation, with the number of new infections rising again and the number remaining high in Tokyo. At Sophia University, while we have yet to see an end to the pandemic, we have been discussing ways to give you as much access to campus as possible. For example, we have been discussing ideas to creatively increase face-to-face learning opportunities, host events and gatherings on campus, offer increased access to the library, and ease restrictions on using campus facilities (∗). We have informed student groups engaged in extracurricular activities that we will ease restrictions on the use of campus facilities on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from October. We will continue to design and implement plans for supporting a well-balanced student life, carefully following the status of infections and social trends and taking measures to reduce risks of infection.

On the other hand, we must also keep in mind that many students still have yet to be admitted in to Japan or have not managed to move to Tokyo. Others are faced with health issues that make it difficult for them to come to campus. We will take careful measures to make sure that these students are not disadvantaged when we hold classes or events on campus during the Autumn Semester.

As we prepare to welcome you on campus, it is very important for us to pay careful attention to the spread of infections and for each of us to be conscious of “not getting infected” and “not infecting others,” thereby observing the rules and manners expected of us. I ask for your support and understanding for maintaining a safe campus environment through the cooperation and coordinated efforts of students, faculty and staff.

We have also launched new forms of educational programs using the Internet. New style classes in collaboration with overseas universities such as COIL, and our UN Weeks program planned for October, to name a few. We will make efforts to create new learning opportunities that take advantage of online tools, such as international communications with students overseas whom we would not be able to meet in person and panel discussions joined by leaders from different international organizations. We will also hold more online gatherings.

While executing our responsibilities as a university to protect the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff, as well as to prevent infections from occurring on and from our campus, we will make every effort to take advantage of both campus and online environments in order to maintain and secure a fruitful student life. I hope that you will start the Autumn Semester conscious of your social responsibilities to prevent infections both in your student and personal activities.

(∗) Updated information on using campus facilities, including the library, and on-campus events will be posted on Loyola.

Sophia University

For Others, With Others