FY2008 “Reitaku Studies Crew” Program Report I

The first report from the newly-established Center for Moral Science and Education is about the activities of the “Reitaku Studies Crew,” a team of senior students organized to guide new students into our program to learn about our own university.
Reitaku University College of Foreign Studies holds a 3-day orientation camp for freshmen every year. The camp takes place at the Reitaku University Seminar House at the hot spring town of Tanigawa in Gunma Prefecture. The objectives of the camp are:
(1) To learn about the founding philosophy of Reitaku University
(2) To contemplate the meaning of studying and co-existing at Reitaku University
(3) To improve friendship and camaraderie among students and with teaching staff
(4) To make mutual efforts to learn about each participant’s feelings and personality
With these objectives, the camp provides various programs to new students, divided according to majors. Freshmen of all majors are required to participate in the program about the founding philosophy of Reitaku University. The Seminar House has a strong association with the founder (study and residence in his final days), and is therefore an ideal setting for studying the founding philosophy. The program to teach students about the university’s founding philosophy at a place with strong connection with the founder is an initiative unique to Reitaku University.
Previously, the program was run by teaching staff in charge of “Moral Science,” a compulsory subject for freshmen on the founding philosophy of Reitaku. The subject is named after “Moral Science” (general anthropology with emphasis on morality), an area of academic study established by Reitaku University founder Chikuro Hiroike. “Moral Science” provides an academic basis for the founding philosophy of ” the unity of knowledge and virtue ” (highlighting the relationship between knowledge and virtue). Studying this in the associative and comprehensive approach is the objective of “Moral Science.” The program to teach new students about the founding philosophy is part of orientation for “Moral Science.”
Originally, this program was run by the teaching staff of “Moral Science.” Then, two senior students were invited to the program administration in 2007. They worked under the name “Team Moral Science” and made significant contributions.
Building on this initial experiment, the team was expanded to 4 members this year, renamed the “Reitaku Studies Crew,” and assigned to overall progarm planning/administration. The name “Reitaku Study Crew” was originally suggested by one of the senior students involved. In fact, the enthusiasm and strong wishes of the senior students convinced the University to put them in charge of information sessions, with teachers handling logistics. This brought drastic change to the program atmosphere.
The following are details of their activities:
・Re-examining information session objectives: The objective of the information session has been clarified as introducing freshmen to their own university. The contents of lectures to be delivered were reorganized based on its role as aid to Reitaku study. Specifically, Reitaku University educational and research activities were described with the phrase “Reitaku Forest.” The primary objective for this session was defined as showing the big picture of the Reitaku Forest, with the founder and founding philosophy described in this context.
・There are two opportunities for freshmen to attend the information sessions (they can hear different lectures at two halls commemorating the founder, located near the Seminar House). The first session focuses on the above, while the second session involves senior students describing how they see the founding philosophy and its characteristics, and use it in their university life. The second session about senior students sharing their personal experiences has sparked major interest among freshmen.
・Leaflets describing the purpose of the program were produced and distributed among freshmen before the camp, so as to motivate them to take part in the program.
・Resumés for information sessions were also prepared. They featured illustrations and other items that made them easier to read.
・A survey was carried out on the level of satisfaction with the program, in order to gather reference for improving future activities.
・Efforts have been made to encourage networking with freshmen through the program, and to reflect their needs and feelings in the programs.
Senior students in the Crew started preparation work two weeks in advance, and were fully involved in administrating the 3-day program. Since freshmen were divided according to their majors, the senior students had to perform information sessions an average of 20 times each. They reviewed their own performance repeatedly, and applied an astonishing level of enthusiasm and skill in fully devoting themselves to the program. As Confucius said, “You must respect the youth.”
Survey results indicate that the camp was generally well received. Hearing senior student experiences seems to have successfully guided new students to the study on Reitaku University. It was also a valuable opportunity of study for senior students at the same time.
The members of the Crew were:
・Yasuhito Sugiki (Senior, Japanese Language Course)
・Norimi Tsukada (Junior, English Language Course)
・Yuichiro Satonaga (Junior, Japanese Language Course)
・Asami Honda (Sophomore, Japanese Language Course)
“A study program on the University involving the student” is an initiative unique to Reitaku University, and is not featured at any other universities.
Some of this year’s members have expressed their interest in joining the Crew again next year, while several other students have also expressed interest at joining the Crew. There was a suggestion to rename the team again, from the somewhat rigid “Reitaku Studies Crew” to “Reitaku Studies Staff.”
We are committed to further expansion and development of this significant initiative. Your support is kindly appreciated.
For details on last year’s program, see the report “Team Moral Science and its Potential” (“Reitaku Education” 14th edition, 2008) written by this year’s leader Yasuhiti Sugiki (Senior, Japanese Language Course). He has been involved in the program for two consecutive years.
Finally, I wish to express my gratitude to all parties concerned for their consistent support of the activities of the Crew, both direct and indirect. Thank you very much.

(Compiled by College of Foreign Studies Associate Professor Tsuyoshi Kawakubo, who also served in the Reitaku Studies Crew for 2008)

Reitaku Studies Crew outside the Chikuro Hiroike Memorial Hall in Tanigawa
Reitaku Studies Crew outside the Chikuro Hiroike Memorial Hall in Tanigawa

Crew members conducting an information session at the Reitaku Hall
Crew members conducting an information session at the Reitaku Hall

Attentive freshmen listening to the presentation
Attentive freshmen listening to the presentation

At the Chikuro Hiroike Oana Memorial Hall
At the Chikuro Hiroike Oana Memorial Hall

Presentation on the Reitaku founder at the Chikuro Hiroike Oana Memorial Hall
Presentation on the Reitaku founder at the Chikuro Hiroike Oana Memorial Hall



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