Message from Deans to SFC students about COVID-19(July 2, 2021)

  1. Future prospects
  2. As of July 1, the number of infected people in Kanagawa prefecture has reached 211, surpassing the number of infections per day in the previous week for six consecutive days. On the same day in Tokyo, the number of infected people was 673, surpassing the number of infections per day in the previous week for 12 consecutive days. Meanwhile, more than 15 million people have received two doses of the vaccine in Japan, bringing the average seven-day vaccination rate to about 1 million people per day as of last week. With the number of infected people increasing in step with the increasing numbers of vaccinated, we must continue to monitor this situation calmly.

  3. Campus access status
  4. The number of students entering the campus in the second half of last month was as follows. The average of about 500 people per day leaves plenty of room for more to come to campus. Of course, you can also access the campus on Saturdays.
      June 21 (Mon.): 543 people
      June 22 (Tues.): 585 people
      June 23 (Wed.): 426 people
      June 24 (Thurs.): 685 people
      June 25 (Fri.): 637 people
      June 26 (Sat.): 88 people
      June 28 (Mon.): 525 people
      June 29 (Tues.): 553 people
      June 30 (Wed.): 443 people

  5. Rainy days and online classes
  6. My seminar is currently conducted on campus, but it seems that, on rainy days, not many students come to the classroom and more students participate online. I took a survey and the results were as follows. I also don't feel like going out on rainy days, so I know exactly how everyone feels. Looking back, I have the impression that before the spread of COVID-19, many students were absent from lectures on rainy days. Currently, as long as there is a flexible response from the faculty member in charge, students are able to participate in classes online via Zoom even for on-campus classes. I believe that the distinction between online and on-campus is only a framework and that it is okay to creatively deviate and reconfigure the format as needed. I would like to work with everyone to create flexible, optimized classroom environments.

  7. Important reminder
  8. According to a report from the school office, there are students who are intentionally not passing through the gate located next to the Alpha Building, as well as students who are not wearing masks even in spaces where others are present.

  9. Receiving the inoculation
  10. The first dose of the vaccine will be available until July 17. If you do not receive the first dose, you will not be able to receive the second dose, so if you are interested in getting vaccinated but haven't made a reservation yet, please do so as soon as possible. Vaccinations will be held at Mita Campus only.

    Vaccinations are a personal choice. Please do not coerce anyone in your affiliated groups to get vaccinated. For the record, I was born with allergies, so I have not been able to receive any kind of vaccination even if I wanted to. Of course, I won't get the vaccination this time either.

  11. If you have symptoms or test positive
  12. Once again, if you are experiencing symptoms, do not come to campus. If you test positive, please report the positive result to the Health Center on the campus as soon as possible, and be sure to respond to the confirmation call.

Hope to see you all soon.

Before we know it, we find ourselves in July. Vaccinations at Mita Campus, which started on June 21, are proceeding smoothly. According to the KEIO UNIVERSITY COVID-19 WORKPLACE VACCINATION INFORMATION PORTAL 31,400 people have already made reservations as of July 1. From what I've read on the internet, the whole process seems to be well organized and very efficient (even though I haven't gotten mine yet). As stated in the announcement by the Keio University Infection Response Center for COVID-19, vaccinations are not compulsory, but voluntary and at the discretion of each individual.

Some courses that were originally "on-campus" at the start of the spring semester are now being offered in classrooms again. I was also able to see my students in the classroom for the first time in about two months. During the semester, we had to make adjustments due to the frequent changes in the course format, but it was still nice to see (in-the-flesh) students and colleagues on campus. Walking around the campus full of greenery in the midst of the sunny rainy season is especially relaxing.

But we must remain vigilant even now. I am very concerned that with the starting of vaccinations, many have become lax in their ways. Entering the campus through the designated gate, wearing a mask, and being careful when eating and drinking with others. We must continue to follow this set of rules to prevent infections. In addition, if you test positive for COVID-19 after undergoing a PCR test, a report must be made to the Health Center. This will be followed by various exchanges, so please deal with these in a responsible manner.

Unfortunately, there have also been reports of complaints. Some students, perhaps in reaction to their stifling environments right now, are engaging in selfish, undignified actions. Often this involves causing a ruckus at gatherings involving the consumption of alcohol. In the most heinous cases, this can involve being rushed to the hospital after drinking too much, and behaving abusively towards the medical staff treating them. This is just too shameful.

As you well know from experience, one's day to day actions will ultimately come back to haunt you in one way or another. We have to keep an eye on each other and be patient for just a while longer.

On the other hand, I feel that our campus life would not be complete without the time to meet and talk with others. There are many ways to foster new connections, but "seminars," where we meet faculty members and students through common research themes and approaches, play a particularly important role. There is no doubt that these experiences will broaden your life as a student. In particular, I think first and second-year students are looking for opportunities and ways to learn about these seminars.

The Seminar Syllabus, which will give you a clue about what seminars are, is being prepared for release in mid-July. When the Seminar Syllabus is released, please take your time to read through it (it should contain information about course requirements, etc.). Individual information sessions may be planned, so it is best to contact the faculty member in charge or the members at your affiliated department.

And I expect that the next few weeks will be especially busy with the submission of end-of-semester assignments. I recall that this was a hot topic last year. As I traced my memory, I found that at the end of June last year, a document titled "Problems with online classes: For faculty and staff members" compiled by the Student Counseling Room of Keio University was distributed. Around this time last year, just two months after the start of online classes, I compiled a list of students' comments about their problems.

I went back and read the document again. While I'm sure that some of the problems have been resolved through the experience of the past year, I imagine that the situation of "having a lot of assignments and feeling overwhelmed by constant deadlines" is making a comeback. Although teachers also need to be considerate, pay great care to the content and due dates of assignments. Notifications may not always be received. In addition, changes and corrections may be added depending on the situation. Please check SOL (Class Support System), the Keio University Student Website, and your e-mails frequently.

When we feel pressured about an assignment, we tend to think only of ourselves and forget to care for others, or we become desperate. Don't keep it bottled up all by yourself. Talk to someone about it and you will feel better. (The SFC Wellness Center provides counseling services for students on issues not limited to concerns about assignments.)

Well, tomorrow is the Tanabata Festival. I'm worried about the weather, but I wonder if the fireworks will go off without a hitch. Let's forget about our assignments for a while and look up at the summer sky together, even if it's through a screen. This should leave you feeling (somewhat) refreshed and ready to face the remaining weeks of the spring semester. Don't let your guard down.