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SIPS Third Batch Online Welcome Party
SIPS Third Batch Online Welcome Party, the Ever-growing Resilient Peace Community
As the world battled amidst the realities of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Graduate School of International Peace Studies (SIPS) second batch students were thinking of ways to comfort and welcome their special friends, the third batch students. The unique third batch students received neither a grand entrance ceremony nor the university's mesmerizing cherry-blossom shower as their welcome. Nonetheless, unbegrudging, they plunged themselves into a new study regime.
On the day of commencement of Soka University's classes in the spring semester, the founder sent a welcome video message to the new students. The founder reiterated from his dialogue with Arnold Toynbee, on their core beliefs "that people are able to create inestimable value when they successfully respond to every challenge and overcome an ordeal before them either as a civilization or as individuals." SIPS faculty and students resonate with these values and their actions.
On May 4, for the first time, both current batches of SIPS students from 12 countries came together in unity and harmony to greet each other in an effort to create strong ties, the need for these delicate times.
The V-Welcome party that was earlier scheduled to be for 1.5 hours got extended to 2.5 hours because of students' enthusiasm to continue. The joy was palpable, and the feeling of sitting next to each other through the screens powerful. It was the moment where seniors could rejoice seeing the eager new faces while the newbies could sense the heart and intent of the seniors.
The highlights of the v-party were fun introductions, followed by experiences from the seniors and the expectations of the new students. One of the striking expectations expressed by a student "I want to test my ignorance" underscores one of the fundamental purposes of SIPS to break through ignorance and open into a new way of seeing the world.
The Google Earth tour of the ever-blossoming of Soka University campus was much appreciated and was followed by inquisitive questions from the newbies that ranged from the curriculum, library access to research areas. In heartfelt dialogues, some of the students who expressed that although their travel to Japan has been postponed due to the current Covid-19 situation, their bags are still packed waiting for the day! Such is the resilience spirit of these inspiring individuals.
Together they carried forward the warm Soka tradition of welcoming and caring for the newbies: a legacy inherited for the future along with the founder that writes:
“In my heart, I am always
together with the students of Soka University,
walking where they walk,
pausing where they pause,
breathing the air they breathe.”
Daisaku Ikeda poem: “Standing Among the Ruins of Takiyama Castle”