3rd Round Table Discussion: The Pandemic and its Aftershocks: Columbia University African Students Perspectives.

August 28, 2020

On August 20th, 2020, Columbia Global Centers | Nairobi and Columbia Global Centers | Tunis hosted a Virtual Round Table Discussion for community members surrounding the theme “The Pandemic and Its Aftershock: Columbia University African Students Perspectives.” The event began with a welcome and brief overview of the event layout by Pauline Muthoni and Regional Community Outreach Intern Samantha Harrienger. The event was then turned over to the moderator, Collins Mokua who is a rising senior at Columbia College. 

The conversation began with a general question of how participants were effected in March when the pandemic began to consume the lives of people in the United States and abroad. Participants discussed how government leaders were not taking hold of the situation which caused the situation to worsen. Further, with travel restrictions in place, many people are still enveloped by the same overwhelming feeling of uncertainty for the future.

As the conversation continued, participants discussed how working and learning from home has affected them. The consensus was that it is difficult to learn from home. Adjusting schedules, especially for students who have returned to Africa has been a challenge. Many students echoed the sentiment that the busier they are, the better they feel. Further, the majority of participants are trying to stay hopeful that universities will become more accommodating for students who are abroad and that eventually the world will regain some level of normalcy. 

This event, “The Pandemic and Its Aftershock: Columbia University African Students Perspectives.” is part of a series of round table discussions to discuss topics that are relevant to current events. Throughout this series, Columbia Global Centers | Tunis and Columbia Global Centers | Nairobi invite students in the region to join in on discussions about the pandemic, climate change, and much more. This platform is run by students, moderated by students, and a platform for students to openly share their opinions and ideas.