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Campus Now

Spring Verdure Issue (May. 2013)

SPECIAL REPORT

Waseda Vision 150 Student Competition 2012

Waseda’s future as conceived by students

Students play a leading role at our university. As such, their active participation in education and research is viewed as extremely important for achieving “Waseda Vision 150,” the mid- to long-term plan of Waseda University. At Waseda Vision 150 Student Competition 2012, students gave competition-style presentations for their own visions of “Waseda’s future.” The competition was jointly held with the Waseda University Alumni Association and sponsored by the Waseda University Digital Campus Consortium.

This inaugural competition featured participation by 39 teams, 7 of which advanced to the finals. This article follows each team’s experience during the finals held at the Ono Memorial Auditorium on March 18th, and conveys Waseda University’s expectations towards students.

*Information on “Waseda Vision 150”: http://www.waseda.jp/keiei/vision150/

Report on finals

The power of students thinking about changing Waseda’s future

This article introduces the March 18th finals of the “Waseda Vision 150 Student Competition 2012.”

Flow until finals
Entry Creation/exhibition of presentations Preliminary judging/voting Finals

Overview of finals
Date & Time: March 18th (Mon.), from 13:30; Venue: Waseda University Ono Memorial Auditorium

Students give passionate presentations in order to convey their ideas

Students at full power starting from rehearsals!

The finals of the “Waseda Vision 150 Student Competition 2012” were held on a sunny day at Ono Memorial Auditorium, Waseda University. At the finals, students competed by presenting their ideas for “Waseda’s future,” based on “Waseda Vision 150.” This inaugural competition featured entrees by a total of 57 teams (203 students), 39 of which submitted presentation videos for the preliminary judging. The preliminary judging was conducted by a panel composed of Executive Directors, faculty, staff and alumni. Judging also considered the result of open voting by students, faculty and staff. 7 teams advanced to the finals.

Interacting with other teams between presentations

Preparation began from the morning of the finals, with presenting teams arriving at the venue from around 9:30am. Students consulted with faculty and Ono Memorial Auditorium staff in order to check the flow of their presentation, position for standing on stage, lighting, equipment and performance. Some teams even recorded their rehearsals in order to make a final check. The spirit of the teams was evident. “From our experiences as students, we gave serious thought on what to change for a brighter future at Waseda University,” students who had finished their rehearsal explained with great enthusiasm. “We are so happy to have the opportunity to give a presentation on this big stage. Our friends will come to cheer us on, so we will be able to give a relaxed presentation when the competition starts.”

Audience mesmerized by students’ powerful presentations

From 1:00pm, about 120 attendees entered the venue one after another. 10 minutes before the start of the finals, the somewhat nervous presenting teams and 6 judges entered the venue. To start the finals, an overview of the event was given by Executive Director Kunio Taguchi, who served as moderator. Next, a message was given by Vice-President Shuji Hashimoto, who was head of the judging panel. “Waseda University has shown our vision for 20 years in the future and has taken the first step forward,” said Hashimoto. “These events correspond to “promotion of proactive student involvement in university education and research,” which is one of the core strategies for achieving the vision. I look forward to presentations by students who have read “Waseda Vision 150” and will make proposals from a different perspective than faculty and staff.”

The venue was filled with about 120 people including students, parents, alumni and university officials

Finally, the presentations by students began. Within a short timeframe consisting of 10 minutes plus a Q&A session, students from each team presented their unique view of conditions at Waseda and their proposals for improvement. Proposals were judged on the following 9 categories: 1) overall composition, 2) cost-effectiveness, 3) creativity/innovation, 4) customer satisfaction, 5) objectiveness/persuasiveness, 6) possibility of realization, 7) elements related to proposal content such as possibility, 8) elements related to presentation materials, and 9) elements related to presentation skill. In addition to outstanding proposal content, students played image videos and moved to center stage as they passionately conveyed their ideas. These elaborate performances were watched with great interest by judges and audience members. The Q&A session was dynamic and the venue overflowed with the earnest desire of students to improve Waseda University through their proposals.

Gold Prize awarded to Team Wase-Jo, formed by 2 female students

Students are filled with surprise and happiness upon hearing the judging results

After fierce competition, the Gold Prize was awarded to Team Wase-Jo, the Silver Prize to the Research Office of Waseda University Advertising Society, and the Bronze Prize to the Team Promoting International Human Exchange. Loud cheers arose from the venue each time that the name of a team was announced. Each award-winning team was presented with a certificate of commendation and extra prize from President Kamata. The Gold Prize-winning team Wase-Jo proposed a Study Group System in which students taking the same class gather to study, as well as “W-Space” to provide a place for student interaction. “Right now, our hands are shaking with happiness and nervousness,” said the members of Wase-Jo with a smile. “This has been a wonderful experience and a crowning success for our final year as university students. Thank you so much!”

“Society is faced with many similar problems and I think that these proposals by students are one possible solution,” said Vice-President Hashimoto in his capacity as head judge. “I was extremely happy that university students made proposals for applicants taking entrance examinations. Our university will accept these proposals as sincere requests and search for the best possible answer.” Next, Mr. Nobuyuki Idei, a Waseda alumni and special judge, gave the following message of encouragement to students and Waseda University: “The world is changing rapidly. I hope that Waseda University and its students will recognize such changes and embrace new challenges. It would be best if there are more ideas conceivable by young people. I hope that all of you will remember and spread the Waseda spirit after you have entered society.” In closing, President Kaoru Kamata discussed his aspiration for achieving Waseda Vision 150: “Every proposal was outstanding. I believe that the proposals accurately pointed out actions which must be taken now by our university. These events were the first step in a collaborative relationship between our university and students. I hope that we can work together to advance the reforms.”