Initiatives at Ritsumeikan University in Preparation for the Fall Semester
~ Striving for a Safe and Healthy Campus Life ~
September 16, 2020
The fall semester at Ritsumeikan University will begin on September 26.
Given that we will still need to coexist with the coronavirus for a little while longer, we will resume some in-person classes this fall after taking sufficient measures to prevent infection. We have also installed the required equipment in every classroom to enable the real-time or on-demand delivery of blended in-person and online classes.
In addition to the basic measures to prevent infection (1. ensuring social distance, 2. wearing a mask, and 3. washing your hands) recommended by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare in their “New Lifestyle” guidelines and efforts to avoid the Three Cs (closed spaces, crowded places, and close contact settings), we will be taking every measure possible to ensure the safety and peace of mind of our students, faculty, and staff in the classroom and their lives on campus.
1. Ritsumeikan University Action Guidelines in Response to COVID-19 (Business Continuity Plan)
〇Ritsumeikan University has formulated the “Action Guidelines in Response to COVID-19 (Business Continuity Plan)” which sets five levels for various activities, including classes, research, and extracurricular activities, based on the status of infections in the prefecture where the campus is located and whether the national or local government has issued a closure request for universities and schools. Based on these levels, class formats are subject to change as is the permitted scope of extracurricular activities and other activities.
2. Basic Measures for Preventing Infection
〇Take thorough action to ensure you do not get infected and do not infect others.
〇Be sure to wear a mask.
* Ritsumeikan University has formulated a document entitled “Rules for Mask Wearing.”
* As a rule, everyone should bring their own mask, but if you lose your mask or it tears or gets dirty after coming to campus, you can pick up a mask from one of the offices or Learning Stations.
〇Wash and/or disinfect your hands properly and thoroughly. (Bottles of alcohol disinfectant have been placed anywhere people tend to gather.)
〇Be sure to check your temperature before coming to campus and stay inside if you are feeling unwell.
〇Thermal imaging cameras have been installed to check temperatures in places that tend to get crowded, such as the cafeterias and student service counters.
〇For the sake of preparedness, we are asking students to keep a record of their activities and to contact the relevant office(s) of the university immediately if they become infected or find out they have been in close contact with an infected person. We are also recommending that students install Cocoa, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare’s contact tracing app, so they can know right away if they might have been infected.
Poster to be Placed on Campus Bulletin Boards
3. Fall Semester Classes
(1) In the 2020 fall semester, classes will be taught in three formats: in-person, blended in-person + online, and online.
For more information, see the Special Website for Online Classes.
*1: The formats used and the combination thereof will vary depending on the college or graduate school.
*2: All classes may be shifted online depending on the status of COVID-19 infections.
1) In-person classes
As a rule, all classes will be offered in-person in the classroom.
* Accommodations will be provided for those students who have a justifiable reason for being unable to attend classes in the classroom.
〇Classes will be offered having taken infection prevention measures, such as mandatory mask wearing.
〇In-person classes will be held on campus on the days and during the periods designated in the timetable.
2) Blended in-person + online classes
A combination of in-person and online classes (with some class days held in-person, and some class days held online) will be offered.
〇Students will be notified about which classes will be held in-person and which will be held online and the dates and times for each. (Class formats may be modified or changed after classes begin depending on the status of infections.)
3) Online classes
Two types of online classes will be offered: on-demand classes and live streaming classes. The format used will differ depending on the subject.
・Instructors will post class materials, audio and video recordings of lectures, and assignments on Manaba +R (the university’s cloud-based learning support system) along with designated deadlines for viewing the materials and submitting assignments.
・Students must find time in their respective schedules to view the materials and submit the assignments by the designated deadlines.
〇Live streaming classes
•Live streaming classes will be held on the days and during the periods listed in the timetable.
•Classes will be delivered via one of the major teleconferencing platforms (e.g., Skype or Zoom).
•Students who cannot attend class for justifiable reasons will be provided with instructions at a later date on how to view video recordings and submit assignments.
Students who cannot easily attend classes in the classroom because i) they have a pre-existing illness or condition or have family members with a high risk of contracting COVID-19, ii) they are international students who cannot enter Japan, or ii) they have other reasons stemming from the impact of COVID-19. can consult the university about possible accommodations. Please contact the instructor, the office of your college, or a Learning Station before you register.
(2)The following infection prevention measures will be enacted in the classrooms for in-person classes.
〇Faculty will wear masks (and mouth or face shields if needed).
〇Efforts will be made to ensure two meters (or at least one meter) of social distance within the classrooms.
〇Transparent acrylic boards will be installed in all classrooms (to prevent the spread of droplets and ensure social distance during question-and-answer sessions).
〇Common equipment (e.g., door knobs, handrails, and light switches) will be disinfected regularly.
〇We will thoroughly implement the measures recommended by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare—namely, (1) machine-aided ventilation and (2) natural ventilation (i.e., windows and doors will be opened for several minutes every 30 minutes).
5. Measures in the Cafeterias
〇Users will be urged to thoroughly wash or disinfect their hands before using the cafeteria.
〇Users will be asked to cooperate with temperature checks before using the cafeteria. (Thermal imaging cameras will be installed at the entrances.)
〇Panels will be installed at all tables to prevent the spread of droplets and ensure everyone can use the cafeterias with peace of mind.
〇Cafeteria staff will monitor their health every morning and will wear masks when serving customers.
〇Ventilation measures will be strengthened, social distance will be secured, and the use of shared equipment such as water fountains, tea dispensers, and microwaves, will be suspended.
〇Tables and chairs will be disinfected regularly.
〇Entry restrictions may be imposed when the cafeterias are crowded.
6. Measures during Extracurricular Activities
〇Before resuming activities, the university will meet with club members and have them submit plans that include infection prevention measures. Activities will be permitted as long as thorough infection prevention measures are enacted.
By enacting these measures to prevent infection, Ritsumeikan University strives to ensure that all students can lead safe and healthy lives on campus.