Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Haley Reading (Group 1): Collegiate experience in a pandemic

[Haley Reading groups Spring 2021]

We’re taking a break from the short stories this week.

After a year of the world dealing with COVID, commentators and researchers have noted how the pandemic revealed or exacerbated the vulnerability of African Americans and other people of color in terms of health, in the workforce, in primary and secondary schools, and in neighborhoods and homes.

Alright, but let’s now consider how the pandemic has affected college students, especially SIUE students.

What’s one notable way that the pandemic has revealed or exacerbated challenges concerning African Americans or students of color at SIUE?

Or, what's one notable way that the pandemic has revealed or exacerbated challenges that you face at SIUE as an African American or student of color? 

Briefly explain in a few sentences. 

57 comments:

Linda H. said...

The pandemic has made it harder to afford to continue to go to university. Many people are out of work so some students may have had to drop out to help at home, or ease the financial strain on their families.

Linda H.

Jovahna Williams said...

The pandemic has made it harder for all minorities to find the motivation and means to continue their college education. Not only has the financial burden for people of color increased exponentially but the lack of childcare has made it even more difficult to continue to get an education. Not only are many people of color trying to find a job but they now have to watch children that would normally be in school or at daycare while trying to attend their Zoom classes. Which makes learning extremely difficult as it takes their attention away from learning the material.

Jovahna W.

EvanCeleste said...

This pandemic has exacerbated the already large education gap between white children and children of color. Now that learning has shifted to remote, there are many black children in low income communities that don't have access to WIFI or electronics to facilitate their learning. This will impact our future generation of black children because they will be at a huge disadvantage when wanting to attend college and join the workforce.

LaTrina Brown said...

The pandemic has made everything 10x harder for African Americans. With everyone being out of work, a lot of people that I know have had to drop out of school just to maintain life at home. It has not been easy trying to maintain schoolwork during a pandemic.

Courteona Combs said...

The Pandemic has made it harder to do a lot of things but while being in school it has made me sometimes feel like this isn't for me anymore.A lot of students need more hands on instead of being in bed behind a computer screen. Also with me being a transfer students its harder because its hard to get to know people on such a big campus or get involved.


-CourteonaC

Anonymous said...

I believe that this pandemic has made it harder to actually learn some of the material. I say this because even though we are paying to be educated by professors, during this time we end up trying to teach ourselves the material instead of learning from them. I also believe that most of us would be doing better if there was face to face interaction/lectures and that one on one component that we now lack.

I'yauna Brown

Justin Jubert said...

As an African American, the pandemic has been extremely hard on my community and other communities of color as well. Minorities are more likely to be front-line workers who have to work in person, so parents do not have the luxury of being able to stay home with their children and watch after them or help with school work. Another reason is that some minority students may have to share electronics with siblings or do not have a stable internet connection to be able to stay connected to class all day. These problems will only further the divide between wealthy and poor students in the United States. -JJ

Donovan Washington said...

For students of color, I believe the pandemic has made the decision of continuing school every year even more difficult. I think that for many students, and especially those of color, the have now had t reconsider whether or not "Zoom University" is worth the thousands of dollars when many of the extras are not included. In addition, multiple students of color I know struggle with at home learning due to their environment. Many of us grew up learning in the classroom and now we're often forced to learn in our bedroom, the place where we normally sleep and relax.

Thomas Siganga said...

Overall, the pandemic has made it harder for many of my friends whether African American or for example, one of my friends who is Vietnamese and moved here into the states. A lot of the issues are financial, but I am lucky to have a school job that I did not lose(ITS help desk). Even then, zoom classes are a harder issue just due to classes being more distracting and also what could be going on in the home environment. Keeping connection has been difficult too. Making an online group through discord has proven to be useful during these times.

Alayna M said...

With the pandemic, a lot of SIUE students either were forced to move home or chose to stay because all of their classes were online. While this may have been beneficial for financial issues, a lot of those students probably feel like their missing out on a college experience. They no longer get to walk on campus or run into their friends. It is also hard to say what their home life might've been like, and maybe living on campus was their escape.

Alayna M

Monica Gilliam said...

The pandemic has affected some minority students by preventing them from taking classes this past year. Many African American students take classes in person and use on-campus computers to complete school assignments because they do not have access to a computer at home. During the pandemic most classes moved online and libraries were closed down, causing students who do not have easy access to a computer to be unable to take classes. Also, many young minorities work in fast food, or other industries that have stayed open during the pandemic, and have had an increase in work hours and/or workload, which leaves less time and energy for education.

Alexis S. said...

The pandemic has affected many minority students in many ways financially, emotionally, and physically as many classes are not on campus this year but instead online. To continue, one notable way the pandemic has affected minorities is with having numerous classes held on Zoom. This has made it difficult for students as some do not have access to a computer at home, and with campus and local libraries having a limited capacity and/or shut down it has made it hard for minority students to attend class and complete their schoolwork. Therefore, causing students to have an increase in stress and a lack of motivation to do their work since different obstacles keep getting in the way.

- Alexis S.

Jaydyn Z. said...

The pandemic has been financially and emotionally tough for students of color. Many students and their families have had to suffer either working on the front line and putting themselves at risk, or they have experienced losing their jobs. Many students of color have had to decide whether it is worth it to spend tuition on solely online classes without receiving the college experience. Since many students had to move back home, it can be hard to focus on school and get the help that is needed. Likewise, many have struggled with acquiring reliable WiFi access for classes and homework. This all had led to immense stress and anxiety when trying to achieve good grades and maintain motivation.
Jaydyn Z.

Samontriona P. said...

Many of the African American students that I know, including myself, are first generation college students. Due to the pandemic, many African Americans have had to drop out of college, or work from home which adds more stress and causes a decrease in grades. Access to recourses, like the student success center study rooms are now limited which is another big factor caused by the pandemic.

Anonymous said...

The pandemic has affected my ability to be sociable with people. I'm naturally a closed off person and wanted to make an effort to interact with more people and try new things at the university. Once it started all those plans went out the window and I feel like I just made steps back to where I started and not going anywhere or doing anything. Which sucked.

Chris W.

Breana B said...

My college experience has been really weird. As a transfer student, the pandemic has made it difficult to connect with my peers. As a African American student the pandemic has been hard. I have seen many of friends drop of college because of the pandemic. Some had to chose between work or school. There has been times that my family and I faced difficult situations. The pandemic has affected so many people.

Breana B

Devin Ellis-Martin said...

The pandemic has made being African American even more of a challenge in day to day tasks, with the initial barrier of color to overcome first, and then to also deal with the hurdles in this new world. -Devin Ellis-Martin

Samantha A. said...

The pandemic has affected many people of color financially and emotionally due to the increase unemployment rate and isolation from people. The financially burden of getting a college education has increased due to the pandemic as many people lost their jobs and schooling switched to online classes, which forces people to have a working computer, webcam, and internet to participate in schooling. Many people may not have a stable learning environment at home, which causes them to decline in their educational success or to drop out completely.

-Samantha A.

Philip Bowen said...

The pandemic has affected many African American because it has been hard to afford the tuition due to family members losing jobs. This has cause students to withdraw or even take a break from college so they can help provide for their families. It has also been hard for students of color because the work load of the classes have been heavy and has taken an emotional toll on the students.

Kenisha Townsend said...

As a black student, this pandemic has made it even harder to connect with other black students for study groups or other activities. It helps to have students with a similar background as you in your learning environment. Many students have decided to stay home due to the pandemic and campus life isn't the same. Connecting virtually is an option, but it's not enough.

Kenisha T.

Danielle Hawthorne said...

This pandemic has effected many African American students. It is hard to connect with other people in class through a computer screen so finding study groups is hard. Also, this pandemic has out many people out of work which makes it harder to afford college when its already hard enough. Also during this time, sometimes is hard to stay motivated while studying from home. I personally have to change my study environment frequently in order to not feel like I’m in a box all day. Overall this pandemic is extremely hard on African American students.

Danielle Hawthorne

Stella Nguepnang said...

One way that the pandemic has exacerbated challenges that SIUE African American is that the economic and resource divide has made it harder for African American students to participate in class to the fullest. Many African American students do not have the technology or wi-fi needed to study from home. Some, like myself, sometimes have a hard time finding classes that work around new work schedules. So much change at once can make it even harder in cases where it was already difficult.

Ehriana . C said...

The pandemic has made in difficult for students of color to be more engaged while learning. I feel like theres a lost of actual interest in the topics we are learning. for me personally I feel like Im just turning in work just to get the points and get it checked off my list.


Ehriana. C

Anonymous said...

I was laid off from my job at the beginning of quarantine, so I applied for unemployment, and when businesses started opening again, I was able to find a new job. Then to my surprise I get a notice from unemployment explaining that to no fault of my own they overpaid me, and that I need to pay them back. This is has happened to me and thousands of other people who work in Missouri. This especially hits African Americans and other minorities because this is the money, they used to feed their families and pay their bills during a deadly pandemic. They cannot pay it back. I am still in the process of trying to appeal. The appeal process is a long tedious one. Some people may not have the time or resources to file the paperwork or wait on the phone for hours.

Alexys Williams

Tracy Long said...

This pandemic has been a struggle for African American students due to the fact that of the resources , learning online is hard to begin . In actual classes I used to link with people that looked like me and study , I dont have that luxury especially learning from a computer .

Isaiah Jackson said...

I would say the pandemic has made college more difficult in a number of ways. College is the most doable when the other aspects of your life are manageable, and for a lot of people, the other aspects of their life are out of control. People have to make a lot of big changes to make up for the loss of a job or the changes in their schedule. It gets hard to focus on school, especially when classes are completely remote and professors are just a video on their screen.

-Isaiah Jackson

Kristian Beal said...


I believe that the pandemic has made it much more difficult to learn and retain the material given to us. Most of the time it feels like we are teaching ourselves teach ourselves the material. Another factor is that with COVID-19 going around, it makes paying for school by working and studying at the same time ten times worse than it already was because it’s more challenging to keep up when your not face to face with your professors.
- Kristian Beal

Kelsey McNeil said...

One of the ways I think the pandemic has affected students the most would be the fact that many lost their jobs and still had to pay the full tuition to be at school. Not only is tuition expensive, but since classes had to be moved to remote it also makes it so much more difficult to learn and retain the subjects that are being taught. Another challenge that the pandemic has caused is the fact that I cannot meet up with other students to study or work together on projects. Being able to work with other students was what helped me with school so much and since I am not able to do that I have been struggling trying to find the best way to be successful within my studies.

Kelsey McNeil

Adejoke Adanri said...

A lot of students are saving money by living at home since most classes are online, but living at home with family members that also have to work from home or attend school from home is challenging. Some friends I have are only able to attend classes in common spaces which adds stress to them and their families. Things like that aren’t taken into consideration for a lot of academic departments and cause stress about being flagged or locked out during a proctored exam.
-Adejoke Adanri

Thaira Mason said...

One thing I questioned was why did Fatima always feel the need to compare and compete with the other black women? This is something that happens often and it is very sad. As black women we need to stick together and come together because we are very powerful individuals. I think women as a whole should be uplifting one another but especially black women because it is a true proven fact that we are the most disrespected people in the world. We need to stop judging one another including me.
-Thaira Mason

Teighlor Traywick said...

One notable way the pandemic has revealed challenges concerning African American students of color at SIUE is the African American community rely on support from the community. The pandemic has made it harder to utilize resources that were provided to make the transition from home life to college life easier. College is a big and ongoing adjustment. Students may also need emotional support from SIUE staff and other peers. The pandemic has made it hard to connect with those that understand us.

Teighlor Traywick

Brooke Harris said...

The pandemic made it harder for us to stand up for ourselves and speak up for the community. If we do then those who oppose just mock us and bring up how the pandemic either isn't real or that we shouldn't go out because the pandemic is happening. Either way, the attention gets taken off of what is important.
-Brooke Harris

Phoenix Johnson said...

The pandemic caused African Americans and many others struggles with appearig on online class. Many of my friends, who are African American, used computers on campus and were off campus students that did not have a computer or wifi. These extra expense were hard to obtain during the pandemic . This led to more people to dropout and not comeback for thr next semester.

Kalonji said...

As a STEM student, I would say that generally speaking operating remotely because of this pandemic has made learning the material a little harder. I don't have the same resources that I would have I was on campus on a more regular basis. Getting assistance on more robust material is harder because the student-professor communication is more delayed, there's no walking in your professor's office anymore, and getting that quick 1 on 1 breakdown. The result is me just having to spend more time in the books and becoming more crafty at finding information online.

Anonymous said...

The pandemic has made it more difficult for me to stay motivated. As a biracial student, I gained motivation and encouragement from the other African American students on campus. Not being able to go to campus and talk with other students has made my senior year stressful, disappointing, sad, etc. etc. This is not what I imagined my senior year to be like!
-Jada Baker

Anonymous said...

The pandemic has definitely affected my relationship with friends. Although I have been able to communicate through forms of media/other virtual outlets, it is not the same as it was before the pandemic. In addition, I am doing school from home this year which has lowered my motivation to do schoolwork and it has caused several technological issues. I am also graduating this spring, which makes it a very unorthodox senior year.

-Ronald Akpan

Alliyah M. said...

During the pandemic I've noticed that it is harder to keep focused during lectures and I have generally felt less motivated to get school work done or to learn new material. When I eventually get the motivation to work on homework, I often have to teach myself the material since I learn less from lectures now.

Youssef Hassan said...

For me the pandemic made most activities done online. I participated in a science conference for minorities and it had to take place online. It was still fun but i prefer to go the actual event itself with my classmates.
Youssef Hassan

Raillane Kamdem said...

The pandemic has made it harder for African American students such as myself to be able to stay motivated in school. It’s been really difficult, once coming back to school, to find a suitable routine to be able to to still succeed with our academics and not fall behind. In my case, once Covid hit a year ago, it was really really hard to stay motivated, so much so I fell very behind in a class. Even now it’s especially hard with everything online, but I’m still trying to find my way through with the help of my classmates and teachers.

Anonymous said...

I think That the pandemic has affected African Americans in a numerous amount of ways. For one, it is proven that African Americans are low incomed as a whole compared to white people. So imagine tons of black people losing their jobs as well on top of that, it makes the situation even worse. There are some students who relied on WiFi and computers at the school but that all was changed during the pandemic. I’m sure there were a lot of drop outs recently due to our people having to focus on things at home, and school was no longer able to fit in the life as a priority.

-Tymera Washington 3/18/21

Unknown said...


I think the bar for getting into school has been raised. What I mean by this is that is was often already harder for African American students to get into schools, and now that there are less sports scholarships because of restrictions, (a good way to get into schools from less privileged areas) and there are just lower incomes in general. This creates a situation where the bar, which was already very high for African American students, had been raised even more.

~ Noah Jones ~ 3/20/21

Keaira C. said...

Thinking about the school dynamic, I think about how COVID has somewhat halted the progression of unity and the creation of safe spaces on campus, and events that promote and implement the inclusion of all representations, demographics, and ethnicities of students. As an African American student, I felt that before COVID without masks students would try to assess how I am as an individual and as a student on campus. And now with the masks, I feel that along with the ambiguity of wearing the masks, students may be questioning my intentions and behaviors even more. Along with this being something that has come up as a result of COVID and its safety precautions, affordability, and the financial necessity of having personal needed school materials that work and are up to date, has been an emphasized challenge throughout these times as well.

Anonymous said...

Due to African American's disproportionate risk of contracting COVID, the pandemic has revealed how less access to healthcare can lead to worse damage to our health, both physical and mental. For me personally, not living on campus and attending classes, makes for a less effective experience in learning.

-William A.

geonel m said...

Financially speaking, this pandemic makes it difficult for people from less fortunate neighborhood to be able to afford an education. Many people are confronted with unemployment, therefore, no source of income. Mentally speaking, It has also become difficult for students to focus on school. For those who have the luxury to attend therapy session, the pandemic has been manageable. However, those who cannot afford a good insurance or even those still consider seeking professionals for their mental health as a stigma are still suffering from the pandemic.

-Geonel M.

Ayo J said...

Truly, this pandemic made life much different for everyone, in a way that could not be imagined. Many people who belong to minority groups, most especially those with African and Asian roots in the US are more likely to suffer more extreme difficulties due to the unfair treatment (such as unequal pay, limited access to affordable and proper treatment in the healthcare industry, unequal access to good quality education and resources), and hate crimes (which could leave a huge impact on the mental health of an individual) that they might receive from other people who do not truly support, appreciate, and promote diversity in the USA. Despite the USA being a culturally and racially diverse country, not every culture and race is treated fairly and equally when compared to other.
As a college student in SIUE SOE, during this pandemic, I struggled to keep up with coursework and projects (that I have been doing all alone) which left a huge impact on my overall health. This ultimately led to my breakdown during this semester. I feel like life has been made harder due to how everyone is going to have more issues to face regarding their daily lives and activities, in addition to the hardness of classes (with emphasis on projects) here at SIUE.

Torian henry said...

As an African American student here at SIUE, I feel that the pandemic has made it increasingly harder to meet other people of color or be involved in events and organizations for black students here at campus.

torian henry

Anonymous said...

I think one way the pandemic has affected me as an African American student is the separation of community. Usually, I am the only black person in class, but it hits me more now because school is online. At least before I could walk around and go to events to connect and see other African American or students of color. It also has affected the access to resources as well, such as WIFI, computers, and getting the full learning experience. In general, it has made it harder to stay motivated and to learn.

Jayla Pierce 3/22/21

Anonymous said...

The pandemic has revealed the challenges for African Americans by showing that with all the technology available, there still is not a lot of technology available. Internet connection is becoming more and more unstable because so many individual routers are trying to support the constant need for it. Some people don’t have any internet which means they still have to find another place to tend to their school work.
Alexis H. 3/24/21

Anonymous said...

The pandemic has made every aspect of life harder for African Americans or people of color. Especially on the school side it has made it hard to find motivation for school since you are not getting that face interaction with other students and your teachers. For me personally these last two years mostly online has had me thinking maybe school isn’t for me but before I lived going to school. On the financial side of things the pandemic has had a big impact because people and their families are either losing their jobs or working jobs that put their lives at risk.

-Kenyon Davis 3/24/21

James Taylor said...

As it concerns Afro-American students at SIUE, the Afro-American students I have been in class with on Zoom. They seem to be doing alright, how the pandemic is affecting them. I do not know, but from the looks of it they seem to be doing alright.

-James Taylor-

Dasmin said...

The pandemic has made it more difficult for minorities to continue schooling. Things such as laptops, printers, motivation, and food need to provide at-home since students are home for the semester. This may be hard for students because they may not have access to a laptop or printer. They cant use their school id to get food at the grocery store. They have to find additional money to pay for food despite paying for a meal plan at school. Also, The motivation that you typically receive by living in a school environment is replaced with family and friends, so its harder to stay focus and learn with work, stress, and other distractions.

Jasmyn Kloster said...

The pandemic has caused a lot of issues within minority groups. There were a lot of resources that we were unable to access due to the pandemic, and some students rely on those to make the best out of their time and money spent at SIUE. The fact that students were not able to go to the gym, get into the library, or access meals most likely forced students to withdraw because they were paying for services they could not get to. It has also been difficult to transition to online courses. If a student does not have access to a laptop or a safe space to do their work, it probably hindered their learning.

Jasmyn Kloster

James Beverly III said...

This pandemic has really made us lose that drive and inspiration to complete work. It’s become increasingly more difficult to complete assignments and then that effects our grades. Online classes have been fine in the past but now I just feel fatigue and loss all inspiration to do homework. The only thing pushing me is graduation.

-James Beverly III

gabby said...

First, it is essential to note that COVID disproportionately effects minority individuals. This is a of result of poverty prone areas, and lack of resources being put in to these communities. With this being said, it is difficult for minorities during this time due to financially strain as many are out of jobs. This is very stressful in a school situation in which we are still expected to keep up our grades and perform at our highest ability.

unknown said...

Having siblings attending predominantly white private institutions and cousins attending public city schools, helps you realize how much less seriously black education and lives are taken. Within days of the outbreak, my brother had been shifted to online school smoothly and was even given a macbook and an ipad, while my cousins were still unsure of their next move. It was quite showing shifting the attention to capitalism America, stating “Save small businesses” instead of simply supporting our black dreams.

Ronald Allen

Anonymous said...

I believe that the pandemic has made education even more difficult for most people. As someone with ADHD not having that set schedule for school makes it hard to focus on getting the work done. I feel that i have learn less this past year then before the pandemic. I am not blaming the teachers as they are trying their best to adapt to the new methods and learning new ways to engage students. However, with zoom it is all too easy to keep the mic and video off and do something besides listen to the lecture.

Breann Walton

Anonymous said...

The pandemic has been financially hard for students of color. Resources like childcare are only available during certain times also. Im sure mental illness like depression and anxiety has become prevalent due to isolation. Speaking for myself, the pandemic has been odd because I have not been able to be around my peers since starting at SIUE fall 2020. By the time I graduate, I hope to be able to meet my classmates in person.

-Rotrisha Epps, 4/16/21