Apr 08, 2021
Rikkyo University Declaration of Human Dignity
President Renta Nishihara
In 1874, when Bishop Channing Moore Williams founded Rikkyo University (then known as Rikkyo School) in Tsukiji Tokyo, he drew a clear distinction from utilitarianism and the trend in Japan at the time to make knowledge and skills into tools for prosperity and personal advancement. Instead, he positioned Rikkyo as "a place for true human education, based on Christianity". Since then, Rikkyo University’s motto has always been to value the dignity of each individual as a human being and to nurture people who can feel and empathize with the pain of others.
In 2005, then-president Teruo Oshimi issued the “Rikkyo Declaration of Human Collaboration.” The aims of the declaration are that education should actively reach out into society to collaborate with various people, rather than being self-contained within the university, and that students should look to those who lead difficult lives or are made vulnerable in society, particularly by illness, disability, or disasters, and aim to realize a society where people can live together without harming each other.
It has already been 16 years since our university issued the Rikkyo Declaration of Human Collaboration. Over those years, we have been able to deepen and advance its operation, through actions such as the Student Affairs Office, the Student Counseling Center, the University Chaplains’ Office, the Center for Human Rights and Harassment Prevention, the Volunteer Center, the Gender Forum, the establishment of the Students with Disabilities Support Office, the Rikkyo Service Learning Center, the Rikkyo Research Center for Cooperative Civil Societies, and the great east Japan earthquake recovery support activities.
In 2008, we stated our Declaration of the Prevention of Campus Harassment, declaring zero tolerance for campus harassment among students, teaching staff, and others, through speech or behavior concerning matters pertaining to personal attributes or character, which could harm people, causes them harm or disadvantage, or infringes their human rights. These personal attributes include gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, ability, physical status, place of origin, family relationships, faith, nationality, ethnicity, race, and occupation or other social position.
Campus harassment means causing disadvantage or discomfort to another person, in the context of education, research, or work in the university, using power relationships concerning study or work, or causing gross disturbance to the study and work environment. Sexual harassment, academic harassment, and power harassment, are typical examples. Furthermore, this university must contribute to attaining the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which set the realization of a world where we "Leave No One Behind" as one of the goals, and to movements to value human dignity in a society under chronic COVID-19 infection.
The word "dignity" is derived from "dignitas" in Latin, which has the original meaning of "having a value in its existence". The existence of all living things created by God has value, and that value must never be diminished. That is the core doctrine of Christianity that has been the principle for Rikkyo University since its foundation.
Based on the above two declarations, we have issued the following Rikkyo University Declaration of Human Dignity, and we position real collaborative action by all the students, faculty and staff who make up Rikkyo University as this university's most important task.
1.Rikkyo University cultivates character based on Christianity and educates students to foster awareness of human dignity.
Rikkyo University respects the character, human rights, and human dignity of every individual, and aspires to be a place for free learning and education which brings out each person’s fullest capability. We pursue regular education and extra-curricular education that foster awareness of human rights and a sense of belonging.
2.Rikkyo University nurtures people to have the sensitivity and intellect to communicate and share their learning and experiences with other people.
We provide society with citizens who possess open intellect that enables them to correctly convey their learning and experiences to others, rather than keeping such experiences to themselves. We aspire to create a campus where each individual is free to inspire and interact with everyone else, recognizes the existence of other people living under difficult conditions, and coexists with them.
3.Rikkyo University takes an unwavering attitude to the elimination and prevention of all forms of campus harassment.
Campus harassment is behavior that could harm the personal dignity and infringes the human rights of individuals. It is also behavior that harms the environment that supports education and research in the university. Rikkyo University does not tolerate any such behavior, and maintains an environment where it does not occur.