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Campus Now

Spring Verdure Issue (May)

Our university's response to the Great East Japan Earthquake

Our university's response to the Great East Japan Earthquake

We would like to offer our sincere sympathy and condolences to victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake which occurred on March 11th (Friday). We pray from the bottom of our hearts for the return of safety to disaster areas and for a quick recovery.

Response on the day of the earthquake

Persons unable to return home watch the news at Okuma Auditorium

On the day of the earthquake, a portion of the campus was opened as temporary shelters for people unable to return to their homes. Shelter was available in Okuma Auditorium on the Waseda Campus and in Building No. 63 on the Nishi-Waseda Campus. Approximately 2,500 people visited the campus. We provided emergency rations and water, distributed blankets and stocked goods, and made simple foods such as soup.

Safety confirmation

Surveys were conducted at each location in order to confirm the safety of prospective new students and students currently studying at our university. There have been no reports of death or missing persons as of the current time (April 15th). We will continue our survey until the safety of all students has been confirmed.

Damage to facilities

Except for some buildings currently under inspection, we confirmed that no buildings sustained significant structural damage due to the earthquake. Although some buildings require slight repairs to fix damage, the buildings have fundamentally maintained a level of structural strength equal to before the earthquake. There is no problem with normal usage of the buildings. A very small number of buildings have been closed for repairs.

Special measures for leave of absence, delayed entry, measures for tuition exemption/reduction, scholarship funds, etc.

Some students scheduled to enter our university in 2011 were victims of the recent disaster. We have established special measures for leave of absence for victims who are unable to study at our university from the new term. Such students can take a leave of absence immediately after entering university. Furthermore, students who wish to delay their entry can join our university from September 2011 or from April 2012.

We are also offering exemption or reduction of entrance fees and tuition. This applies to cases in which the guarantor or payer of tuition suffered severe damage to their household in the recent earthquake, as well as cases in which there has been significant change in earnings capacity.

Additionally, some student can apply for the Emergency Scholarship offered by the Japan Student Services Organization. This applies for cases in which the registered address of the guarantor or payer of tuition is located in regions stipulated by the Disaster Relief Act and there has been a dramatic change in family budget (significant increase in expenditures or significant decrease in earnings).

Cancellation of graduation ceremony and ceremony to confer graduate degrees

Graduates taking commemorative photographs

We cancelled the 2010 graduate ceremony and ceremony to confer graduate degrees. The ceremonies were scheduled to be held on March 25th and 26th at Memorial Hall. This decision was made because we forecasted great inconvenience for attendees due to inconsistent public transportation caused by scheduled blackouts. Furthermore, we recognized the danger of numerous students and officials gathering in one venue even as aftershocks continued.

Based on the factors listed above, we cancelled graduate ceremonies for undergraduate and graduate schools. However, diplomas were presented during the four days from March 24th to 27th. Some students dressed in hakama took commemorative photographs with friends and family against the background of school buildings which they had grown fond of during their studies.

2010 valedictorian degrees and the Azusa Ono Memorial Award were presented on March 25th and 26th. President Kamata offered the following farewell message: "Currently, Japan faces a great crisis which will determine the fate of our nation. I hope that all of you will play a leading role during these difficult times."

Furthermore, video (YouTube) was used to transmit the following message from President Kamata to university graduates, recipients of graduate degrees, and graduates of the Art and Architecture School: "All of you received the precious gift of life from your parents. The spirit of Waseda flows passionately through your veins. Always remember the many people who perished in the recent disaster and be thankful for your own life. Please spend life working your hardest for the good of society and your fellow man."

Cancellation of entrance ceremony

We canceled all 2011 entrance ceremonies in consideration of aftershocks and inconsistent public transportation due to scheduled blackouts.

President Kamata sent the following message to new students via our university's website: "Embrace the founding philosophy of Waseda University. Give deep consideration to the relationship between nature and mankind, as well as to scientific technology and the form of social systems. I strongly expect you to become leaders in the quest to construct a brighter future for our community. In order to acquire the skills necessary for leaders, please use the outstanding research and educational environment of our university and work your hardest to cultivate yourself."

Changes in the 2011 university calendar

Some changes have been made to the university calendar which was introduced in the previous issue (early spring issue). As a result, the course period for the first term has been reduced to 13 weeks. However, we will provide the content for the originally scheduled 15-week period by holding extra classes and by utilizing the online class system service Course N@vi.

*In order to secure a sufficient number of classes, class will be held as normal on the following days: July 18th (Mon.; Marine Day), October 10th (Mon.; National Sports Day), and October 21st (Fri., anniversary of Waseda's founding). In exchange for holding classes on these three days, the followings days are designated as holidays: April 30th (Sat.), May 2nd (Mon.) and January 10th (Tues.), 2012.

In this section, we will introduce some of the actions that our university plans to conduct for recovery in disaster areas.

  • Support for students, faculty and staff affiliated with universities located in disaster areas
    Waseda Law School has extended benefits such as the use of school facilities to students who have recently completed their studies (March of this year) at Tohoku University Law School and the Law School at Tohoku Gakuin University. Both schools are in extreme distress due to the recent earthquake and are having great difficult securing a venue where students can study until the bar examination.
    Furthermore, the Chuo Library is offered services such as viewing and copying of materials within the library, as well as use of electronic journals and databases. These services were available until the end of April for students, faculty and staff from the Tohoku region.
  • Research projects for disaster recovery
    As an intellectual collective, we believe that our university must put our full effort into aiding recovery in disaster areas. It is necessary for us to mobilize our wisdom to consider how we can contribute to society, and we must start taking specific action. We have already started emergency open recruitment within our university for short, mid and long-term research projects. In the future, we shall do everything possible to support recovery.
  • Measures within our university
    There is pressing demand for electric power and the Japanese government has enacted scheduled blackouts. Our university must also actively institute further measures to conserve electricity. We are doing everything possible including turning off lighting, setting limits for using air conditioning, and implementing partial operation for elevators and escalators.
    Moreover, we are increasing earthquake awareness among students by distributing an Earthquake Response Manual in undergraduate schools, research offices and via our website.
    Earthquake Response Manual
    Details available at the following website.
  • Establishment of the Office for Aiding Reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake
    The Office for Aiding Reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake was established on April 8th in order to support recovery from the recent disaster. The office will conduct activities separate from our university's disasters headquarters. In addition to Executive Directors and Senior Deans, specialists from both inside and outside our university will be added as members when necessary. The office will implement aid activities which are imbued with the wisdom of our university and seek to realize full recovery.
    Furthermore, the office shall seek to exist as a one-stop service for information and will unify information through our university's home page.
  • WAVOC volunteer project to support disaster recovery-Deployment of advance team
    On April 11th and 12th, in order to support recovery, the Waseda University Hirayama Ikuo Volunteer Center (WAVOC) deployed an advance team of disaster volunteers (4 faculty/staff, 24 students) to Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture. The team confirmed what kind of support is currently needed and surveyed what kind of activities can be conducted in disaster areas.
    Based on the survey results, we plan to continue deploying students, faculty and staff who wish to volunteer in Ishinomaki City and other disaster areas. We began by deciding to send three volunteer teams during the month of April.
Relief donations

The following campaigns for relief donations and aid money are being conducted by our university and our alumni association. We ask for support from everyone who can participate in the campaigns.

  • Support for Waseda students (including new students) who are disaster victims

    This aid money is used to provide support to students who are disaster victims. Donations are collected through the Waseda Supporters Club Fund-Raising System and are eligible as tax deductions for charitable contributions.

    ❶ Please enter all required information on the transfer form for the Waseda Supporters Club Fund-Raising System and then transfer donations from a bank or post office.
    ・ Be sure to enter "student disaster victims" in the "Name of Waseda Alumni Association" column on the transfer form.
    ・ Transfer forms are available from our university.
    ・ Transfer fees are not incurred when using the special form for the Waseda Supporters Club Fund-Raising System and when transferring from a post office or the main branch or sub-branches of specified banks.

    ❷ Please use the following website when applying by credit card.

    *Be sure to enter "student disaster victims" in the notes column of the application form.

    ❸ Transfer from post office (Japan Post Bank)
    *When not using the special form for the Waseda Supporters Club Fund-Raising System that is described in item ❶ above, please use the transfer forms available at the window of financial institutions.

    Code Number: 00180-0-263020

    Name of Transferee: Waseda Supporters Club Fund-Raising Account
    *Be sure to enter "student disaster victims" in the notes section or blank section of the payment slip.

    Donation Period:
    March 24th (Thurs.), 2011 to the end of December 2011 (scheduled)
    *The period has been extended (July 1st).

    Waseda University, Office of the President, Fund-Raising Section

  • Relief donations for disaster areas
    The following fund-raising activities are being held within our university mainly for Waseda students, faculty and staff. Collected donations will be delivered to the Japan Red Cross.

    ❶ Bank transfer
    Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Takada-Baba Branch
    Ordinary Account: 4610962
    *Code for transfers from overseas:

    Name of Transferee:
    Waseda University Tohoku Region
    Relief donation for Great East Japan Earthquake
    *Transfer fees are not incurred from head branches or sub-branches of Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, ATMs of Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and some ATMs of convenience stores.
    *Note that additional fees are incurred when transferring from overseas.

    Donation Period:
    March 24th (Thurs.) to July 1st (Sun.), 2011

    Waseda University, General Affairs Division, General Affairs Section

  • Aid money from the Waseda Alumni Association for the Great East Japan Earthquake

    The Waseda Alumni Association is composed of graduates, faculty and staff from our university. The association chairperson also serves as president of Waseda University, and the association office is the Alumni Affairs Section at the Office of the President. Every day, the alumni association works to support Waseda and its students through scholarships and other programs.
    Numerous alumni living in the Tohoku region were victims of the recent earthquake. Aid money is split equally to support alumni and students affected by the disaster.

    Transfer account

    ❶ Resona BankWaseda Branch
    Ordinary account: 1514134
    Waseda University Alumni Association

    ❷ Japan Post Bank
    Code Number: 00140-2-569233

    Name of Transferee: Waseda Alumni Association Aid Money
    *Transfers are responsible for transfer fees. Donations can be transferred from overseas.
    *No receipt is issued. Furthermore, no preferential tax treatment can be received.

    Donation Period:
    March 22nd (Tues.) to September 30th (Fri.), 2011 (scheduled)
    Details available at the following website.


    Waseda Alumni Association Office
    TEL: 03-3202-8040