Report on the Activities of the Student Circle of Reitaku Studies during the 2012 Academic Year

“Reitaku Studies” is a program offered during the orientation period for new students in April every year. Its purpose is to give seniors the chance to explain about Reitaku University to the newcomers and introduce them to, and interest them in, Reitaku Studies.

Orientations for new students belonging to the Faculty of Foreign Studies (English and Communication Studies, English Language and Culture, Japanese and Intercultural Communication, German Language and Culture) took place at the Tanigawa Seminar House in Tanigawa, Gunma Prefecture, while similar events for those in the Faculty of Foreign Studies (International Exchange and Cooperation, and Chinese Language) and the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration were held on the Kashiwa campus in 2012 as usual.

In the course of these orientations, 11 senior students, supervised by Tsuyoshi Kawakubo, Deputy Director of the Center for Moral Science and Education, and Kenichi Eshima, Member of the Center for Moral Science and Education, played an enthusiastic and active role in delivering the program of the Student Circle of Reitaku Studies.

Reports by these 11 senior student leaders may be found below:

◆Masumi Asada (Coordinator of the Tanigawa Student Leaders / Senior, International Exchange and Cooperation)

I am convinced that the three day program of Reitaku Studies has been a great success. The results of our introductory guidance to Reitaku University, which was our most important task, could be read on the faces of the new students. Beforehand I had thought it would be good enough if they listened to us without becoming bored, or learned only a few basic terms such as “Chikuro Hiroike”, “the unity of knowledge and virtue” and so forth. But, especially during the presentations for all participants on the second day, I thought that the delivery of our program had gone well beyond this, as I observed many of the students looking up and listening to us attentively, actively taking part in the quiz games and laughing a lot. I was also pleased at the smiles on the faces of all the student leaders, evidence of how much they were enjoying their presentations. Our success owed everything to the amount of practice we had put in, and this really was the moment when our efforts all paid off.

The work of the student circle of Reitaku Studies is never easy, but it gives us a chance to lose ourselves in tackling our tasks and to spend productive time mixing with students who do not belong to our own grade or majors. Those who become involved also learn a lot and come to feel proud of studying at Reitaku University. So it would make me very happy if many of our new students rise to the challenge of doing the rewarding work of the student circle of Reitaku Studies.

◆Kousuke Kakiuchi (Deputy Coordinator of the Tanigawa Student Leaders / Senior, English Language and Culture)

I found great difficulty in making a presentation in front of so many people, and it was challenging for me to speak in a way that the new students could understand. I struggled really hard to put what I had learned into a form of words, and since I did not always bear in mind the need to make my thoughts comprehensible to everyone, the work was not easy. Thanks to rewriting my manuscript many times and receiving advice from the professor who belonged to our group, though, I believe I was able to improve my performance.

◆Yukie Gunji (Advisor to the Tanigawa Student Leaders / Senior, Japanese and International Communication)

There were eight Student Leaders, including myself, at Tanigawa this time, and five of them were sophomores who were visiting Oana and Tanigawa in Gunma Prefecture for the first time.

Arriving at Oana and Tanigawa for the first as a new student is a truly invigorating, precious and unrepeatable experience. But our sophomores also had to learn about places they themselves had never been to before and then talk about them to new students whom they had never previously met and who, like themselves, were strangers here.

Thanks to the guiding hand of Fate, I believe that we, as members of the student circle of Reitaku Studies this year, were able, just as we desired, to get close to the new students. Of all those involved, we had the great advantage of sharing most intimately what they were experiencing, and this explains our success in delivering the program.

◆Yoshiaki Iwamura (Tanigawa Student Leader / Sophomore, English and Communication Studies)

I practiced my presentation again and again after arriving at Tanigawa, and thanks to this, the new students listened attentively as I explained about our university. They responded in the same way to the other presentations, but even though we had great success from the outset, we were still urged to rewrite parts of our scripts. The senior students remained calm despite this unexpected turn of events and got on with the redrafting without getting at all flustered. They were a great model for me. We got over this hiccup by giving up our sleep to finish revising what we were to say and then reading it over many times. The new students I befriended told me that our presentations were easy to understand and more interesting than those of the professors. I had longed for such feedback from them, for it showed that, as members of the student circle of Reitaku Studies, we had achieved our secret purpose as well.

◆Saho Ohtsuki (Tanigawa Student Leader / Sophomore, English Language and Culture)

For the first week or two, we learned about the philosophy of Dr. Hiroike, the history of our university, and the concept of what a Reitaku University education ought to be. We then discussed how we should put what we had learned into our own words, and how to present it so that it would be understandable to the new students. Having reached agreement on the content of our presentations, we then practiced them many, many times, eventually succeeding in improving them.

Before becoming involved in the activities of the student circle of Reitaku Studies, I had vaguely thought that they were serious and boring, but now I found myself able to enjoy them a lot. I also believed that the Reitaku Studies program was simply something we provide for the benefit of new students at Tanigawa and Oana Hot Springs, to teach them about Reitaku University, but I found that I myself learned a great deal too. I hope to participate in this program again next year if I am given the chance.

◆Fuuta Muneishi (Tanigawa Student Leader / Sophomore, English and Communication Studies)

I learned a lot during the preparation period and I was also deeply impressed when given the chance to visit the Guest House and the President’s Residence. These were very meaningful experiences, and I felt I was discovering something new every day. It did, though, make it more difficult for me to convey all that I had learned to the new students.

◆Natsumi Nishikawa (Tanigawa Student Leader / Sophomore, English and Communication Studies)

I learned how important, and also how difficult, it was to see things through the eyes of the new students themselves, rather than being consumed with self-satisfaction at taking part in the activities of the student circle of Reitaku Studies. We ourselves may have thought that we had been able to make good presentations, but they would have been worthless if our listeners had failed to show any interest in what we said. I did not have opportunity to listen to their feedback this time, but I believe it is important, as our professors told us, always to have questions and to be modest, since this is the path to improvement in one’s presentations and other undertakings.

◆Shiori Nishifuji (Tanigawa Student Leader / Sophomore, German Language and Culture)

Thanks to taking part in the activities of the student circle of Reitaku Studies, I was able to gain confidence in my ability to make a speech and came to like giving presentations in front of others. I really appreciated the advice the professors gave me and the support of other members of the circle.

◆Mizuki Takamiya (Coordinator of the Kashiwa Student Leaders / Senior, International Exchange and Cooperation)

Although Reitaku University has a long history, I could only convey the central points about it in my presentation today. I did not mention its tradition or the “unity of knowledge and virtue” at all. I had never thought about them and had never even been aware of them while I was going through my own Reitaku education.

Now I have changed. I have come to understand various things through participating in the student circle of Reitaku Studies, and I feel that the Reitaku spirit exists inside of me. It seems that taking part in this event gave me the chance to confirm how proud I am to be a student of Reitaku University.

◆Ayako Kawana (Kashiwa Student Leader / Junior, International Exchange and Cooperation)

Although I thought I was working for the benefit of the new students, I found that I myself had gained a lot after completing my part in the Reitaku Studies program.

It was interesting for me to get to know more about our university and the relationship between Dr. Hiroike, its founder, and the people close to him. I found myself enjoying all this even though I used to hate subjects connected with history. Above all, though, being immersed in these activities during the spring holiday led me to realize how important is the company of others, and also to recognize my tendency to depend too easily on those around me. Now I think I might have changed as a result, even though I didn’t notice this was happening at the time.

◆Chihiro Komori (Kashiwa Student Leader / Junior, International Exchange and Cooperation)

Trying to consider things from the point of view of the new students, we attempted to put ideas that were serious in nature into our own words while remaining true to what we had learned. At the same time, though, we also had to try to avoid making the new students, whom we had only just got to know, more nervous. I believe we were able to communicate with them effectively by wearing the same clothing, which also led them to appreciate that we all stand on the same ground.

We gave presentations on the theme of challenging ourselves by finding a purpose in our life at university, and illustrated this by describing our own activities as students. I hope we were able to give our listeners the chance to share something of what we ourselves felt.



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