Joint Response to the Challenge -- A record of SPSIR’s concerted effort to conquer the pandemic
Time: 2022-07-04

Joint Response to the Challenge

-- A record of SPSIR’s concerted effort to conquer the pandemic

The battle against the COVID-19 pandemic is a war without gunpowder smoke, and the campus community is the front line that the teachers and students are defending. Facing the severe pandemic, the School of Political Science & International Relations (SPSIR), Tongji University, worked together to overcome the difficulties. The teachers and students stood up in difficult times and went all out at the critical juncture. In more than a month, they stuck to their posts, had the courage to stand up, and warmheartedly helped each other, all of which have composed a high-spirited music of SPSIR's concerted fight against the pandemic.

In the face of a sudden lockdown, the teachers and students of the school responded positively. At 4:35 p.m. of March 9, 2022, the university issued an urgent notice to lock down the Siping campus. All teachers, students and staff were on standby. 20 teachers of SPSIR were locked down in the school, of which 18 teachers stayed in the office temporarily. The school leaders immediately launched emergency measures to calm down the teachers and students. On March 10, the Siping campus implemented the "2+12" closed-off management and control measures, with which all faculty members were managed in a closed loop for two days, and several nucleic acid tests were carried out for all. Despite the shortage of living materials and poor accommodation conditions, our teachers stuck to their posts without complaints, cared for each other, and shared materials, forming a warm and compassionate team.

The leadership team always stuck to their posts, and some teachers returned to the school urgently to ensure the complete success of the postgraduate re-examination. On March 12 when the "2+12" lockdown was completed, some teachers left the school, but the leadership team members of the school continued to stay in campus. From March 9 to now, the situation of pandemic prevention and control has become more and more serious. Dean Men Honghua, Secretary Xu Hong, Deputy Secretary Song Bo, and Professor Qiu Huafei have been working continuously and intensively in the University for more than five weeks from the very beginning of the outbreak. The teachers including Zhong Zhenming, Wu Xinye, Shao Chunxia, Yu Minjiang, Lui Rui, Sun Ming, Ma Hui, Liu Xiaoyang, and Li Hu left their families and entered the school one after another from March 22 to 28, to become the trailblazers of charging ahead and dedication, and actively participated in the re-examination of doctoral and master's candidates. The re-examination, carried out for two consecutive weekends, was hosted by Dean Men. All members of the doctoral interview expert group gathered offline without any absence. A large number of students participated in the re-examination for master's degree. The interview expert group of international relations and diplomacy worked continuously for more than 14 hours from early morning to late night. Facing the grim situation, we at SPSIR are not afraid of difficulties and challenges. SPSIR is one of the two schools that have completely adopted offline re-examination in more than 30 schools of Tongji, and was highly praised by the university leaders for thoughtful arrangement and high-quality interview. The photos of interviews with doctoral candidates in conference room 1802 of Zhonghe Building can be found on the News tab of Tongji website.

Every teacher of our school who stayed in campus showed the spirit of loving their job despite difficulties in the pandemic. Professor Qiu Huafei, who is over sixty years old and the director of the Academic Committee of the school, insisted on working in the school for more than a month, and conscientiously completed the postgraduate interview and teaching and scientific research. As an outstanding Party member in the education system of Shanghai, he faithfully performed his sacred duties with practical actions. Professor Wu Xinye, deputy director of the Discipline Committee of the school, suffered from acute gastritis on the night when he returned to the school. After infusion in the campus clinic, he still suffered from abdominal cramp. But he insisted on participating in the re-examination of postgraduates. Everyone was moved by his professionalism. After receiving the notice from the school, professor Shao Chunxia, deputy director of the Academic Committee of the school, professor Yu Minjiang, discipline leader, and associate professor Sun Ming, assistant to the dean of the school, all overcame family difficulties, received nucleic acid testing promptly, packed their bags and came back to the school to interview the candidates, showing their responsibility at a critical moment. Associate professor Lui Rui, assistant to the dean, is in charge of the work of postgraduates. She bravely assumed the important interview task and coordinated all parties to ensure that the online interview is perfect during the pandemic period. On March 23, Ms. Ma Hui, deputy director of the school admin office and head of graduate educational administration, received the work call from the school. She resolutely came back to the school though she was pregnant and devoted herself to the heavy work of postgraduate interview. She resisted the physical discomfort caused by vomiting during pregnancy, insisted on completing the video system debugging for more than 90 candidates, and entered data late into the night after the interview every day. Associate professor Liu Xiaoyang, the teaching secretary, suffered a rupture of the ligament of his right knee. He had not fully recovered after the operation in early March and needed a crutch to walk. However, when he learned that the online postgraduate interview of the school needed technical support, he took the initiative to work on campus, arranged the video system at the interview site, adjusted the computer equipment, participated in the whole process of service, and performed his duties as an expert of postgraduate interview. As the teaching secretary and head teacher of postgraduate students, Mr. Li Hu was busy. He should not only undertake the heavy secretary work for the interview, but also care for the students' study, life and psychology during the pandemic period. As a young teacher, he volunteered to deliver meals for the teachers staying on campus and help the sick students pick up medicine.

Professor Men Honghua has devoted himself to the school. Our dean, who was just named as a distinguished professor of the Changjiang Scholars program by the Ministry of Education at the beginning of this year, has held to his post for more than a month to ensure the success of the school's teaching, scientific research, and admission during the pandemic period. He solidly promoted the construction of national first-class undergraduate programs and first-class undergraduate courses, chaired symposiums on curriculum system optimization, and organized a series of online academic conferences and serial lectures on social sciences of Tongji University, with close attention to discipline construction. He worked day and night. His dedication and high morale has greatly inspired everyone to fight against the pandemic.

Professor Xu Hong, secretary of the Party committee, made every effort to implement the deployment of the University and gave meticulous care to every teacher. With great patience and tenacity, she properly handled the complicated work and emergencies during the pandemic. Every day, she counted the meals for the teachers, organized nucleic acid testing, filled in various statistical forms, and reported and distributed the school information. She sought medical advice for sick teachers, improved the accommodation conditions for weak teachers, and bought fruits in advance for the admission interview teachers. These details reflect the real care of the school Party Committee for each teacher staying on campus.

Mr. Song Bo, deputy secretary of the Party Committee, stuck to his post for more than 200 students of the school and worked round the clock. He always kept the students in mind, sincerely communicated with them, and helped them solve psychological problems; cared for students who were quarantined for close contact, and gave them psychological counseling; arranged medical treatment for the sick students and help them take medicine in time. He acted as a volunteer to deliver meals and pandemic prevention supplies to the units in the school. As the chairman of the labor union, though Song stayed in the school, he was concerned about the teachers outside the school, and tried his best to help everyone report their problems in daily life during the lockdown.

Professor Zheng Chunrong, secretary of the Party committee of the School of Foreign Languages and associate dean of our school, has been sticking to his post since the outbreak of the pandemic. Under the condition of serious physical and energy overdraft, he still kept fulfilling his duties in both schools, running for the scientific research and foreign affairs work of SPSIR, actively participated in the high-intensity doctoral student admission as an interview expert, and shared the information and experience of pandemic prevention and control, to make due contributions as much as possible.

Professor Zhong Zhenming, associate dean in charge of teaching, returned to the school without hesitation after a short stay at home, so that the teaching system of the school can quickly adjust and operate smoothly in the face of the impact of the pandemic. He actively deployed the online teaching work, strictly controlled the online teaching quality, and thoroughly implemented the construction of the high-quality courses and teaching material system of the school. During the special lockdown period, he shared the duties of academic administrators and personally printed and packaged make-up examination papers. As a campus volunteer, he braved the heat to deliver boxed meals and supplies. When he took off his protective clothing, sweat had soaked his clothes. He worked hard during the day, but at night he could only sleep on the floor in the office. His consistent hard work impressed all his colleagues.

The off-campus teachers cared about the school as well. Organizer Gong Zhenmeng and counselors Cen Yuwei and Wu Xiaoli actively performed their own duties by fully supporting the work deployment of Secretary Xu Hong and Deputy Secretary Song Bo. A group of teachers from our school volunteered to work in the front line of their own community. Faced with the urgent problems such as the shortage of manpower for disease control in the community, the weakness of grassroots organizations, the shortage of living materials, and the urgent need for support for the vulnerable, professor Wang Fuqin, associate professor Zhong Xiaohua, associate professor Wei Chenglin, office director Xu Jingfei, and organizer Gong Zhenmeng, etc., stepped forward as the director of the owners' committee, the anti-pandemic volunteer, and the organizer of residents' associations. By giving full play to the pioneering and exemplary role and professional advantages of Party members, they mobilized community activists to support disease control without fear of hard work and infection risk, coordinated materials to ensure residents' lives, organized residents to carry out neighborhood mutual assistance, and cared for the elderly and families in need in the community. The mission and responsibilities of SPSIR people have been demonstrated in the battlefield of community.

Shanghai is now still faced with a grim situation. As a member of SPSIR, we will continue to make unremitting efforts for Tongji’s fight against the pandemic and usher in the dawn of the victory with indomitable will.