Okayama University


Three Students Awarded President’s Commendation for Supporting Okayama University Students and Local Restaurants During Pandemic

July 06, 2020

On July 3rd, MAKI Haruki (4th year Faculty of Law), MIYAMOTO Taisuke (4th year Faculty of Law) and HAYASHIDA Kei (2nd year Graduate School of Education) were awarded a Certificate of Commendation by President MAKINO Hirofumi of Okayama University for designing and implementing a plan to support both students and local restaurants affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

“We aren’t scared of corona! Win-win student project to support Okayama University students and local restaurants.” is the brainchild of Mr.Maki and was implemented with the help of Mr.Miyamoto and Mr.Hayashida. After securing funding from the Okayama University Gakuto Foundation, the students contacted restaurants located around Tsushima Campus to ask for their co-operation. 9 restaurants agreed to prepare ready-made meals at the cost of about 500 yen per meal. As a result, for a 10-day period between June 1st and June 12th (weekdays only), 300 to 500 ready-made meals were distributed to students per day. Approximately 3900 were distributed in total.

In their report to the president after the award ceremony, Mr.Maki said, “I received thank-you messages not only from the students but also from their parents and guardians. Their expressions of gratitude make me feel that the project was a success. Furthermore, many students, including freshmen, were willing to volunteer as part of the distribution team. Their support helped the project run more smoothly.” Mr.Miyamoto reflected that, “At first, we distributed free ready-made meals provided by local restaurants without making an announcement, so I did not imagine that it would become such a big university-funded project. We are so grateful for all the people who have volunteered to help us.” Finally, Mr.Hayashida said that, “Someone expressed their gratitude for the ready-made meals on SNS, which made me realize that there were truly people in need. I am very thankful that the local restaurants were willing to co-operate and that we were able to support the restaurants affected by the pandemic.”

President Makino praised the students, stating that, “I am aware that many students have been struggling in various aspects of their lives due to the coronavirus pandemic. Though the university has offered various forms of financial support, this project allowed us to convey the message that the university always care about the situation students are in. Okayama University promotes the SDGs by tackling social issues. This time, it was great to see students meeting the needs of students and local businesses in a very practical way. Not only did this project benefit members of Okayama University, it also benefitted the wider community. Truly a win-win project! I hope that this project will lead to a second and third phase.”