To Kyushu University Students, Faculty & Staff
As many of you may have already seen on the news, the state of emergency previously scheduled through May 6 has been extended by the Japanese government until May 31. This means that restrictions will stay the same for special alert prefectures, which includes Fukuoka. As part of those measures, Fukuoka Prefecture has requested that universities and other institutions also extend their restrictions until May 31.
We have established university guidance for a variety of on-campus activities to prevent the spread of infection and have requested that all members of the university body restrict their activity in accordance with university guidance through May 6. For the time being, we will maintain the current level of restrictions (Level 4: Restrictions [High]) and will continue to do everything we can to prevent the spread of infection. Though these inconveniences will persist, we ask that all members of the university body review the guidance and adhere to restrictions. The university will continue to abide by the state of emergency and the trend in business closure requests while carefully considering future action.
Based on university guidance, the spring quarter has been moved fully online and begins May 7. All faculty and staff working on-campus to prepare their online courses are requested to take all necessary precautions to ensure smooth class management while avoiding contact with others to help stop the spread of infection.
Research activities will continue to be subject to current restrictions. On-campus laboratory activity must be limited, with all other work being done from home. Unfortunately, there have still been a number of cases where there seems to be a lack of understanding regarding the risk of infection. The principal investigator needs to consider which tasks are essential, and even if something must be done on campus, we ask once again to please make sure that you minimize both the number of people in the lab at one time and the amount of time spent there. Please note that in light of the current situation, refusal to follow such requests—including restrictions on time spent on campus and requests for reducing hours and working from home—will be interpreted as harassment.
All extracurricular activities involving contact with other students are currently prohibited. You are free, however, to interact and engage in other activities online. And beyond extracurricular activities, we hope that during this time you will be able to connect with other students online to talk about your studies and personal lives as well. The Counseling and Health Center is, of course, also always available if you have any other questions or concerns.
As I mentioned the other day, the Kyushu University Emergency Student Support Plan has been established so that students can focus on their studies with peace of mind. And along with support from the government, we will provide university-sponsored emergency tuition fee exemptions and emergency student support fund. Details regarding applications will be shared as soon as they are available.
At Kyushu University Hospital, many healthcare workers are putting their lives at risk day and night to fight the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), with currently no end in sight. As a university, we are now considering ways of rewarding the individuals selflessly fighting this disease.
As the number of new cases declines nationwide, it is clear that the state of emergency and requests to stay home have been fairly effective. However, I think it is of utmost importance for each of us to continue to act responsibly and remain dedicated to making sure that we make it through this together.
Once again, we ask that you continue to refrain from going out unless absolutely necessary in order to protect the health and the lives of the university body and society at large.
May 7, 2020
President, Kyushu University