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Autumn Issue (Nov.)

News related to the Great East Japan Earthquake

News related to the Great East Japan Earthquake

Pledging to contribute to the reconstruction of disaster areas
President Kaoru Kamata visits alumni in disaster areas in Iwate and Fukushima Prefectures

On July 2nd and 3rd, President Kaoru Kamata visited disaster areas in Iwate Prefecture and Fukushima Prefecture in order to encourage people striving to recover from the Great East Japan Earthquake. President Kamata gave inspiring messages to students of the Hirayama Ikuo Volunteer Center (WAVOC) and alumni who engaged in volunteer activities on site.

On July 2nd, President Kamata visited Miyako City in Iwate Prefecture, an area which suffered heavy damage from the earthquake and tsunami. After speaking with Mayor Masanori Yamamoto, he joined WAVOC students who are working as volunteers. In front of Miyako Station, President Kamata encouraged members of the Waseda University New Orleans Jazz Club who are planning to participate in the city's Tanabata Festival and perform within the Sanriku Railway. He also helped with reconstruction work for buildings at Taro Daiichi Junior High School, which was greatly damaged by the tsunami.

On July 3rd, President Kamata travelled to Aizu-Wakamatsu City in Fukushima Prefecture in order to speak at the regional exchange forum "Get to know Waseda" in Fukushima, an event which was held by the Fukushima Branch of the Alumni Association. "I realize you have been forced into a tough situation due to harmful rumors regarding the nuclear accident," he said with compassion. "I would like to express my heartfelt condolences and sympathies for all victims of the recent disaster." Within his lecture, President Kamata introduced activities by Waseda University such as newly established volunteer programs and scholarship funds, as well as research projects. "As a university, we will contribute to the further development of Fukushima Prefecture in the future," he pledged.

Students deployed by the Hirayama Yukio Volunteer Center (WAVOC) work hard in disaster areas
Providing learning support at Fukushima Prefectural Futaba High School

As part of WAVOC activities, 6 Waseda students provided learning support for 11 students from Fukushima Prefectural Futaba High School. The support program was held from August 4th to10th in Oyama City, Tochigi Prefecture. While receiving advice from faculty at Futaba High School, the Waseda students designed a curriculum and taught the subjects of Japanese, mathematics and English.

Waseda students stayed up all night preparing and practicing to teach lessons. They cooperated to consider questions asked by the high school students, and also planned enjoyable events such as fireworks and futsal. The high school students gradually became more comfortable and began to discuss their future dreams with the Waseda students. Open witnessing the exchange among students, local NPOs and corporations provided educational materials and snacks, further expanding the range of support.

WAVOC activities to support reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake (from July)

◆Volunteer activities for clearing mud and removing rubble
Schedule Details/Number of Participants
July 1st to 3rd Miyako City, Taro Daiichi Junior High School: Clearing mud, removing rubble 31
July 8th to 10th Otsuchi Town: Cleaning Gensui River 59
August 22nd to 24th Rikuzen-Takata City: Cutting grass in rice fields 36
August 29th to 31st Rikuzen-Takata City: Cutting grass in rice fields 40
September 9th to 11th Otsuchi Town: Cleaning Gensui River 27
September 16th to 18th Rikuzen-Takata City: Cutting grass in rice fields 81
◆Support for managing events/club participation, etc.
Schedule Details/Number of Participants
July 1st to 3rd Miyako City: Music volunteers (New Orleans Jazz Club) 31
July 9th to 10th Ichinoseki City: Sports volunteers (Table Tennis Team) 5
July 15th to 18th Miyako City: Sports volunteers (Judo Team) 3
August 4th to 10th Oyama City, Fukushima Prefectural Futaba High School: Learning support (Community Aids Project) 7
August 5th to 7th Rikuzen-Takata City: Sports volunteers (Judo Team) 17
August 9th to 11th Rikuzen-Takata City: Concert participation, etc. (Waseda Philharmonic Orchestra, Boxing Team, Pantomime Club Dance! Dream! Step!) 36
August 9th to 12th Yamagata City: Kid's Art Camp-Yamagata Participation (Paddy Golf Club) 3
August 11th Morioka City: Performance (Cheerleading Club) 88
August 12th to 14th Natori City: Floating of baskets with lanterns in remembrance of victims (cooperation from Graduate School of Asia-Pacific Studies) 52
August 18th to 20th Kesen-Numa City: Participation in fishing boat flags festival (Environment Rodriguez/Sports of Japan) 21
August 21st to 25th Tanohata Village: Cleaning of disaster area, community interaction activities (Forest Cultivation Project, Thoughtful Forest Association) 41
August 25th to 28th Kesen-Numa City: Music volunteers (Street Corner Symphony) 31
August 26th to 29th Miyako City: Music volunteers (Choco Crunch) 38
August 26th to 29th Kesen-Numa City: Town Restoration Workshop (Kesen-Numa Town Restoration Support Group) 12
September 1st to 2nd Sendai City: Participation in extracurricular studies of Ishinomaki Girl's Commercial High School (Volunteers with experience in activities in Ishinomaki) 21
September 3rd to 6th Ishinomaki City: Music volunteers (Glee Club) 41
September 13th Holding of a Volunteer Acapella Concert  
September 15th to 20th Tono City: Agriculture volunteers (Rural India) 11
September 16th to 19th Iwazumi Town: Music volunteers (Mandolin Music Club, Mitsudome Shamisen Club, New Orleans Jazz Club) 30
September 30th to October 2nd Taro Town: Performance (Cheerleading Club) 8
"Learning will provide strength for recovery"-The Waseda Business School holds a charity course

The Waseda Business School (Graduate School of Commerce; major in business) is holding MBA Essentials, a charity course to aid reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake. This intensive course consists of a total of 10 classes held over a 4-month period (August 23rd to January 10th). Students will study a condensed essence of factors required in management. Classes are taught by 10 professors from the Waseda Business School.

Course admission is free; however, we ask for a donation of 5000 yen per person per lecture. All donations will be delivered directly as aid money to corporations, groups and municipal governments in disaster areas, or will be allocated as financial assistance for organizations or groups conducting relief activities.

Further details:(http://www.wsjp.org/)

Awareness survey regarding the Great East Japan Earthquake

Waseda University conducted a questionnaire survey to determine how students responded when facing the Great East Japan Earthquake. Survey results will be incorporated into future disaster-preparedness measures at our university. The survey was held from May 23rd to June 5th and targeted 43,257 undergraduate students. A total of 2,162 responses were received. By learning from the recent earthquake, our university will continue to implement measures for keeping damage to an absolute minimum, even if a major earthquake were to occur during class time.

A large number of respondents indicated that they were feeling emotionally unstable after the earthquake. 10.6% of respondents answered that "I felt low and depressed."

Furthermore, there were many proactive answers related to volunteer activities and reconstruction support. For example, respondents wrote that "Manpower is needed now. As many students should volunteer as possible" and "I would like to send a donation." 67.1% of students responded that they were interested in volunteer activities. In less than a 2-month period, more than 10% of respondents had already participated in some sort of volunteer activity.

Many of the responses showed that students were seriously considering their course of action for the future. Example answers included "I want to conserve electricity through the university as a whole," "I will study hard so that I can create effective disaster-related policies in the future" and "I felt that great importance of cooperation and mutual aid."

Symposium held by the Center for Research on Reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake
Towards reconstruction from large-scale disaster and construction of new social systems

On October 7th, approximately 200 people attended a symposium entitled "Reconstruction Research at Waseda University-towards reconstruction from large-scale disaster and construction of new social systems" held within the secondary hall at Okuma Auditorium. The symposium was led by the Center for research on Reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake, an institution which works for reconstruction of disaster areas by employing the full wisdom of our university. At the symposium, President Kaoru Kamata introduced the 3 reconstruction support policies of "academic support for students affected by the disaster," "aid for disaster areas" and "reconstruction support through research." "We will create a new future through rich human support and academic resources," he said when introducing his aspirations for the future. Research projects were introduced by Professor Yoshiaki Fukuzawa (Director of the center), and research presentations were given by Professor Tomoya Shibaya, Professor Shigetaka Asano and Professor Takeshi Nakagawa from the perspective of tsunamis, medical care, urban planning and social systems. Lively debate was conducted while fielding a variety of questions from participants. The symposium was a meaningful event for increasing understanding towards reconstruction research.

"Great East Japan Earthquake Volunteer Acapella Concert" held by WAVOC
Passionate chorus of support by more than 20 musical artists, including The Gospellers

The Gospellers sing passionately

On September 13th, "WAVOC presents Great East Japan Earthquake Volunteer Acapella Concert" was held in the large hall of Okuma Auditorium. The hall was packed in anticipation of a concert featuring top-class musical artists including The Gospellers, TRY-TONE, AJI, SOLZICK and Kaname Nemoto (Stardust Review). "Volunteers working for reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake have a long task ahead of them. So, we held this concert to provide personnel and monetary support for volunteers," said Gospellers member Tetsuya Murakami (1996 Graduate from the School of Education). The passionate singing of performers created an enjoyable time for all concertgoers, with some people even crying after being touched by the music.

A portion of the concert proceeds will be used for activities to support reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake, including student, faculty and staff volunteers working in regions.