Opening Waseda University Campuses: Plans and LogicTue, May 26, 2020
Opening Waseda University Campuses:
Plans and Logic
May 26, 2020
Dear Students, Faculty Members, and Staff,
On May 25, 2020, the Japanese Government and the Governors of Tokyo and Saitama declared an end to the State of Emergency. Waseda University has also decided to open our campuses at the same time, and to move gradually to the “new normal” from June 1, 2020 on. We know the COVID19 pandemic will continue, so I would like to remind you of Waseda University’s three missions. Firstly, we will protect the life and health of our students as well as those of our faculty members and staff to the extent possible. Secondly, we are committed to providing students with an excellent education. Thirdly, we will continue to conduct our research and scholarly work even under difficult conditions. These commitments preclude an immediate resumption of all of the University’s functions, but we will resume those functions step by step to ensure that each step is safe. Below I outline our policies and explain the reasons behind them.
- Any students remaining outside of Japan or the Greater Tokyo Metropolitan Area presently Do Not have to return to the Greater Tokyo Metropolitan Area, because all the classes will be taught online in the Spring Semester and/or Spring/Summer Quarters in 2020.
- We will resume our normal activities gradually to avoid spreading the new corona virus. Please Do Not come to campus unless it is absolutely necessary for you to come.
- In order to protect you from the virus, we intend to keep our policy that all faculty members and students at Waseda should undertake research from home. We will gradually resume functions of the university gradually, as well as activities and experiments in labs, but not right away.
- We ask all our students to behave with self-restraint in adapting to the “new normal.”
1. Continuation of Online Education
Waseda University will complete the Spring Semester and/or Spring/Summer Quarters 2020 with online classes. The reason for this decision is as follows. About a third of Waseda students, i.e., about 15,000 students, are from outside the Greater Tokyo Metropolitan Area, and about 4,500 international students are from outside Japan. They will not be able to move to the Greater Tokyo Metropolitan Area to attend in-person classes even after our campuses open. Therefore, we will provide online education until the end of this semester, as we are determined to “leave no one behind.”
Please be considerate of your fellow students who are in different or difficult environments, and please try to understand their needs to which we are responding.
2. Gradual Opening of our Campuses
We will gradually resume our normal activities as follows:
- Only the gates with security guards of our campuses will be open for students between 10:00am and 4:00pm from June 1, 2020 on. Students will be able to access vending machines for transcripts, certificates of graduation (available from July 1, 2020 on) and so on. However, you will not be able to enter class rooms, student lounges, or offices of schools or graduate schools. We are hoping to loosen those restrictions gradually by mid-June 2020, provided the conditions of COVID-19 permit us to do so.
- We will resume responding to students’ questions at the Waseda Portal-Office, which is located in Building No.7 on Waseda Campus, from June 1, 2020.
- We will open all other gates of our campuses gradually, depending on the COVID-19 situation.
*Please watch for further notice.
*For West-Waseda Campus, please consult the web-site of the Faculty of Sciences and Engineering.
3. Continuation of Research
Our basic policy is to conduct research from home.
- Libraries: Even after opening our campuses, we will avoid crowding in the libraries by limiting the pace at which people enter to the libraries. Please watch for further notice.
- Common Computer Labs: We will limit the number of users and the length of period to stay in order to facilitate social distancing. Please watch for further notice.
- Entrance to Lab/Office for research: As we maintain social distancing policies, priority of access to libraries and labs will be given to graduate students submitting their Doctoral Dissertations or Masters Theses in Academic Year 2020, and Undergraduate students writing their senior theses for graduation in September 2020. We will gradually allow other students and faculty members to use the main Library. Please watch for further notice.
4. Resuming Student Life
As we reopen our campuses, we hold firm to the determination not to spread the new corona virus further.
- Students may resume student life gradually as circumstances warrant. At the same time, make sure to keep your environment safe and hygienic. Please watch for further notice.
- The members of varsity clubs may resume practice as restrictions are relaxed. At the same time, make sure to keep your environment safe and hygienic. Please watch for further notice.
- We are hoping to resume psychological counselling at the University Health Center by the mid-June.
- We continue to ban all parties and social events by students, students’ circles, or varsity clubs until August 1, 2020.
- Please refrain from holding dinner parties, particularly those with alcoholic drinks for the time being.
We all recognize the possibility that any one of us might infect our family members or friends without ourselves experiencing any symptoms. Thank you for your utmost efforts to keep everyone safe.
We ardently look forward to seeing you in autumn!
Aiji Tanaka, President