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.
Jan 16, 2024