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    A student group has launched a website to introduce clubs and groups from five universities in Hirosaki to the local community.

    A student group has launched a website to introduce clubs and groups from five universities in Hirosaki to the local community.

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    On May 1st, Hirosaki University's student group "@bokurashi next" pre-launched a website called "Hirosaki 5 Universities Circle Guide," which compiles the activities of groups and clubs from the five universities in Hirosaki city.

    Currently, the group has six members and plans and manages events for students. In April 2023, as part of their activities, they came up with the idea to create a website to let people know more about the activities of students. Nana Okuno, a fourth-year student who is the group's representative and the initiator of the idea, recalls, "It was difficult to find the activities of Hirosaki's 10,000 students, so we wanted to create a website that would serve as a bridge for local people to understand."

    Currently, 65 groups are registered, including those from five universities: Hirosaki University, Hirosaki Gakuin University, Shibata Gakuen University, Hirosaki University of Health and Welfare, and the Open University of Japan Aomori Learning Center. The site is divided into categories such as sports, culture/arts, and research, and provides information on groups, their locations, members, schedules, etc. Social media and contact information are also provided, making it possible to contact groups.

    To create the site, they applied for the "Citizen Participation Urban Development 1% System," a system that subsidizes activities in Hirosaki City. "We applied for a different project two years ago, but it was rejected, so we used that experience to prepare carefully," said co-representative Kaori Komori. They attended the selection committee and conveyed their thoughts on creating the site to the judges, which led to their selection.

    They called for groups to register, but it was difficult to gather enough members, so the group members themselves started looking for more, calling out to others and contacting them directly. According to Komori, some of the groups were unique, and some were circles that were created to coincide with the launch of the site.

    "We want to increase the number of registered organizations in preparation for the official opening on July 1," said Komori. Registration is accepted via the application form on the "Hirosaki 5 University Circle Guide" website and by email. Komori is enthusiastic, saying, "It took us a year to finally get to the pre-opening stage. We want to polish the site and make it one that can create new connections not only within the local area, but also between organizations."

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