Aiming for More Diversity

Takashi Aso. Vice President for International Public Relations and Equality and Diversity Promotion; Professor at Faculty of International Research and Education

Ever since the Waseda University Gender Equality Declaration in 2007, Waseda University has worked to achieve this goal through broad collaboration among many departments. The Waseda Vision 150 mid-term plan was established in 2012 to clarify those objectives in more specific, practical terms. In July of 2016, the Waseda University Promotion of Diversity Declaration was issued, emphasizing respect for the diversity and equality of all faculty, staff and students. As the world and Japanese society work to cultivate a more diverse stock of human resources, developments such as these are necessary. Moreover, this served as a launching point for Waseda University to pursue more progressive ideas and initiatives in the future.

As per the new framework begun in November of last year under the new university President, Aiji Tanaka, restructuring is underway to promote more tightly knit organizational coordination and thereby to strengthen and extend further prior policies already in place. Focusing on the existing Office for Promotion of Equality and Diversity, which had previously acted independently to provide support for faculty and staff, as well as on the activities of the International Community Center (ICC), the Office for Students with Disabilities, and the Gender and Sexuality Center that provide support for students in the Student Diversity Center, this new framework is being developed to preserve individual organizations while encouraging mutual use of facilities, centered on the Office for Promotion of Equality and Diversity. In the future, this framework will aim to address diversity issues without distinguishing between the problems faced by faculty and staff and by students, instead providing a centralized approach that spans the entire university.

Looking ahead, our future development lies in efficiently creating policies for an environment in which each and every member of Waseda University can be actively proud of their own identity, as soon as possible. To that end, we have already worked to establish a Nursery Center and similar facilities, conducted lectures and other activities to promote public awareness, and taught by establishing courses pertaining to gender and sexuality studies, but it might next be necessary for us to be more proactive in terms of faculty and staff hires and student admission. We expect that policies such as these will lead to a campus on which everyone can demonstrate their individuality and capabilities to their fullest.

I ask for your cooperation and understanding in this effort to create an environment in which more people can be happy they came to Waseda University. Thank you for your support.

(Appointed on November 8, 2018)

Office of Promotion for Equality and Diversity

Waseda University established the Office for Promotion of Equality and Diversity on July 1, 2016. This is a step-up effort following the University’s declaration on gender equality in 2007. In addition to promoting gender equality, the Office for Promotion of Equality and Diversity is committed to promoting diversity on campus in a broad sense including providing support to sexual minorities and those with disabilities through effective policy-making.

Student Diversity Center

The Student Affairs Division believes that an environment where minority groups feel safe and livable is an environment which the majority would feel the same. Hence, in addition to the Office for Student with Disabilities and Intercultural Communication Center (ICC), Waseda University established the Gender and Sexuality Center (or GS Center) to further promote and support student diversity on campus. Additionally, as of April 2017, the office and two centers have merged under a single administration called the Student Diversity Center.

The Student Diversity Center is committed to 1) realizing a study environment where students of minority group feel safe about being themselves and 2) building an inclusive campus by promoting diversity and understanding toward minority groups among faculty members, staff and students. By fulfilling its commitments, the Student Diversity Center hopes to contribute to the University’s goal of becoming a model university for other Asian universities.

The Student Diversity Center will continue to work closely with the Office of Promotion and Equality, which makes policies concerning diversity on the university level, to provide necessary support and assistance to students at all levels.

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