Creating a new school club in Japan

Last semester was full of new experiences and friendships as it was my first semester at as university student. I managed to acquire new pieces knowledge and experience that will undoubtedly help me improve the quality of the time I spend at this school next semester.

 I wish I knew everything before starting the last one, as it would’ve surely made it much better. For instance, I learned the importance of choosing the right professor when choosing your classes, the name itself and the syllabus of the class not holding much importance. That was my mistake last semester – choosing a class according to its superficial appeal and not according to the professor teaching it.

Nevertheless I did manage to take some classes that were quite interesting and thought provoking, but more often that I’d like to admit. Most weren’t as intriguing. Now I have more friends, connections and I know the professors better so I’m sure I’ll choose my classes more wisely next time. After all this is why I’m here, and I am determined to learn as much as I can at this university. Therefore, confusingly enough, I won’t register for classes that would normally sound amazing to me, such as “The Modern Political Theory”, since I know now that the quality of said class might not be as high as the quality of a class that people who know would never guess I’d register for, such as “Quantum Computing”!

In any case, optimizing my strategy of choosing classes to register for isn’t my only goal. Last semester, as befitting for a fresh(wo)man, I tried out a variety of new activities, such as playing the flute in the school orchestra, taking part in the university business club, or even trying out kendo (Japanese fencing of sorts), but none of that gave a sense of accomplishment or fulfillment. Not only that, but I also noticed several shortcomings of the school’s extracurricular system, especially concerning students who care about global issues and wish to share their passion with others.

So I decided to create the Keio University SFC Debate Society, where like-minded people can come together, research some of the world’s most pressing issues and argue about them with their peers. The club will be held in English, so I thought it will also be a great opportunity for Japanese students who would like to work on their English skills as well.

But of course it won’t be so easy. First of all I have to deal with all the paperwork brought upon by the infamous Japanese bureaucratic system that even penetrates the organization of university circles and clubs, which will take a full year – only then will my club be recognized as one of the official university clubs. Furthermore, I found out the history of debating at my campus is close to none, so if I want this club to hold coherent weekly debates and the team to compete in debate tournaments, I will first have to introduce debate theory to each and every member. This of course will not be the easiest since I too am certainly not a fully experienced debater, but I shall do my best. I am looking forward to whatever the new semester and the opening of my own university club may bring.


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