The fall semester is now underway.
For our new students, this means you will finally be able to meet your classmates and upperclassmen and join in club activities. For our current students, the proportion of in-person and online classes will vary depending on your college's curriculum and individual factors pertaining to your course registration, but we believe you will be able to learn and gain experience by taking full advantage of the university’s in-person and cyber offerings. We ask all of you to take thorough measures to prevent infection in order to protect your health and safety and the health and safety of those around you, and we hope you can lead fulfilling student lives here at Ritsumeikan.
Looking back on the spring semester, things were thrown into turmoil by the COVID-19 pandemic, and all classes except for a handful of labs and practicums were held online. We surveyed students and faculty to identify the issues with and strong points about online classes. We shared this information with you and strived to continuously improve our online class offerings, but many of you mentioned the importance of, and your expectations for, in-person classes. We also believe many of you were disheartened by the fact that we had to suspend almost all of our overseas programs. Although we believe the measures we took were appropriate given that our top priority is the health and safety of our students, it was a difficult task for us knowing that many of you were upset at being unable to lead the campus lives you had planned.
Our education and research as well as your lives as students and daily routines will not return to the way they were before the virus. We must learn to live with the ebb and flow of infections for the foreseeable future and continue searching for the best way to communicate with each other, be it face-to-face, online, or some combination of the two.
Remember: anyone can become infected with this virus. Defamation of the infected must not be tolerated for any reason, but you must also understand that hiding the fact that you are feeling unwell can lead to more infections.
Changes to our lifestyles, personal relationships, and other such factors can cause stress, and changes in how we communicate can lead to anxiety and distrust. If you have any concerns or worries, no matter how minor, please do not hesitate to consult with a faculty or staff member or make use of one of the many in-person or online consultation services that are available, including those not affiliated with the university.
To ensure that you can study and lead fulfilling lives on campus, we believe this semester is the first step toward a vision for the future of the university as we transition from living with the virus into the post-COVID-19 era.
We look forward to seeing you all on campus.
Ryuzo Ueno, Vice President
Tadao Isaka, Vice President