Message from the President: “Our university’s response to the declaration of a State of Emergency”

26 April, 2021

To all students, faculty and staff

Nakano Satoshi
President, Hitotsubashi University

A State of Emergency over COVID-19 has been declared in Tokyo from 25 April, and is scheduled to last until 11 May. As President of Hitotsubashi University, I would like to address a message to all students, faculty and staff about the initiatives to prevent the spread of infection which our university is taking in response.

At our university, with the aim of achieving both infection prevention and a fulfilling learning experience for our student body, we put in place a system to implement a combination of face-to-face and online classes at the start of classes for the 2021 academic year. When designing this system for the holding of classes, we kept in mind that it should be sustainable even if a State of Emergency were declared, and have put the following measures in place in order to hold classes, working as hard as possible to prevent the spread of infection while also utilizing online classes.

  • Holding some classes online, such as those for courses with a large number of students for which it is difficult to allocate classrooms.
  • For face-to-face classes, in order to avoid the “three Cs” (closed spaces, crowded places, and close-contact settings), imposing limits on the number of people in a classroom, and controlling the total number of students in each class through WEB lotteries.
  • Gaining an understanding of the health condition/ scope of activities of each university member through the use of “Record of the results of observation of your physical condition” and “Activity records”.
  • The wearing of masks, hand washing and sanitation, disinfection of classrooms by a cleaning company, thorough ventilation of classrooms, etc.

In addition, based on the “Hitotsubashi University Activity Restrictions Index for the Prevention of the Spread of COVID-19” established independently by our university, we have worked hard to do everything within our power to prevent the spread of infection, such as banning all extracurricular student activities in principle in response to the application of focused measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to Tokyo on 12 April, and are calling on all students, faculty and staff to cooperate.

Fortunately, as published on our website, there have been extremely few cases of infection or close contact with those infected among our students, faculty and staff, and we have so far been able to prevent the emergence of a cluster. This is a result of the efforts made by students, faculty and staff to prevent infection and, as President, I would like to express my deep gratitude for your cooperation and hard work.

Bearing in mind the above, our university will continue with the current system of holding classes for the time being, holding classes both face-to-face and online, while continuing to make every effort to prevent the spread of infection. At the same time, we will observe the situation one day at a time, keeping an eye out for unpredictable developments such as changes in the number of cases of infection among students, faculty and staff and the spread of infection by variants, and considering the necessary responses in a flexible manner. I ask all students, faculty and staff for your continued cooperation in order to achieve both infection prevention and a fulfilling learning experience for our student body.

I would also ask you all to reconfirm and cooperate with the following points.

  • All student extracurricular activities are, in principle, forbidden for the time being.
  • All students, faculty and staff are asked to continue to make every effort to avoid the “five situations (*1)” in everyday activities in which the risk of infection is increased, and the “three Cs (*2)”. Please also continue to strictly follow the basic measures to prevent infection, such as washing your hands frequently, gargling, hand sanitation, wearing masks, and refraining from talking loudly.
  • Students who are unable to participate in face-to-face classes on an ongoing basis due to unavoidable circumstances related to COVID-19, such as those who are unable to enter the country due to immigration restrictions, or those who have, or live with someone who has, a high risk of complications owing to an underlying health condition, can apply for special consideration for their studies.
  • Students are asked to continue filling in the “Record of the results of observation of your physical condition” and faculty and staff the “Activity records”.

*1           The “five situations” in which the risk of infection is increased: gatherings involving the consumption of alcohol; eating or drinking together in large groups or for a long time; conversations without masks; living together in cramped conditions; moving between different surroundings
*2           The “three Cs”: closed spaces with poor ventilation, crowded places with many people nearby, close-contact settings such as close-range conversations

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