Things to Do Leading Up to the Start of Fall 2020

Here are some of the virtual events that were held in the fall of 2020, along with resources that you can use. 

The events are for ALL students to connect  not just those who will be on campus. This page will be updated as new events are added, so please check it again!

Expand your on-campus or virtual peer circle, find support and have fun with these and many other University Life events throughout the 2020-21 academic year!

Events for Fall 2021 will be posted in the summer.


University Life

See the full list of University Life events.


  • Success Through Well-Being Canvas course — Monday, Sept. 7, through Friday, Sept. 11: Start your semester off right right with eight weeks of mindfulness learning and practice, courtesy of To get started, go to the link above and click the "Mindfulness 8-week training workbook" link within the Mental Health/Sport Psychology Module. Choose a topic of your choice for this week. Each week has a lesson with informational content (within the workbook), activity log sheets (within the workbook), supplementary videos (linked in the module under the workbook), and audio meditations to support the lesson (linked in the module under the workbook).
  • Student-Athlete Iyengar Yoga — Monday, Sept. 14 from 1:15 p.m. to 2:15 p.m.: Iyengar focuses on alignment and precision in the yoga positions with the use of props.
  • Sleep Workshop with Columbia Health — Monday, Sept. 14 from 3 p.m. to 3:50 p.m.: Getting a good night’s rest means more than just feeling refreshed in the morning — prioritizing zzzs is supportive of overall health and academic success by increasing focus and ability to retain more information. This workshop will describe what it means to practice good sleep hygiene and discuss ways to overcome common barriers to maximizing bedtime performance (sleep).
  • Guided Meditation with Kate Miller — Tuesday, Sept. 15 any time: As a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Leadership & Well-Being Coordinator, Kate Miller, takes you on a soothing guided meditation for three minutes to clear the day-to-day noise we experience throughout our minds. Sit back, relax, and take three minutes to listen to a voice that will stop the noise of the day.
  • Time Management — Wednesday, Sept. 16 from 3 p.m. to 3:50 p.m.: Making informed choices about how to use available time can set the stage for academic success. Participants will discuss factors that impact time-choice, managing time effectively, building a balanced schedule, and learn about tools for overcoming procrastination.
  • Self Care Grab Bag with Kate Miller — Thursday, Sept. 17 any time: As a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Leadership & Well-Being Coordinator, Kate Miller will explain what a self-care grab bag is and why it is important practice and engage with. Take a listen and learn a new activity that will keep us mentally strong.
  • Athletics Alumni Spotlight — Friday, Sept. 18 any time: Our Columbia Athletics alumni will share updates on their postgraduate experience along with giving you insight into their journey of looking for and securing full-time/internship opportunities. Follow @CULionsSupport on Twitter and Instagram to check them out!


The Libraries are here to help! Here are five ways to use your Libraries during your quarantine:

Not sure where to start or need a recommendation?  Ask a Librarian, including through the live chat option.

Religious Services

  • The Office of Religious Life has organized virtual resources to help nurture the spiritual and religious health of our community and will continue to offer events for certain religious groups — including Muslim Life, Catholic Ministry, Hillel and Episcopalians.

Sexual Violence Response

Sexual Violence Response is offering "Peace and Presence," a series of diverse holistic wellness workshops for student survivors and co-survivors of sexual trauma. These sessions will explore non-verbal and experiential healing techniques, self-calming tools, and guide you in incorporating mindfulness into your daily lives.

These workshops are available on various dates through Sept. 29.

  • Trauma-focused and Restorative Yoga — Tuesday, Sept. 8, 6:45 p.m. REGISTER; Thursday, Sept. 10, 9:45 a.m. REGISTER
  • Voice Journey — Tuesday, Sept. 15, 3:25 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. REGISTER
  • Movement Medicine — Wednesday, Sept. 16, 3:15 p.m. to 5 p.m. REGISTER.
  • Drawing and Language — Wednesday, Sept. 22, 3:15 p.m. to 5 p.m. REGISTER
  • Visual Arts — Tuesday, Sept. 29, 3:15 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. REGISTER


Counseling and Psychological Services

  • Daily drop-in support spaces for students in quarantine from Aug. 24 through Sept. 18. There will be six groups per week in total, and, starting the week of Sept. 10 a seventh group conducted in Spanish will be added on a trial basis.


Center for Student Wellness

Students can find a number of virtual activities, including:

  • Gentle Stretch Class
  • Yoga
  • Knitting Circle
  • Daily Meditations

Mental Health Services is offering support throughout this time, including consultations, individual sessions, psychiatric treatment and support groups. Students may schedule an initial telephone appointment to speak with a clinician through the health portal or by calling 212-305-3400. This number is answered 24/7 and is for urgent and non-urgent matters.


  • Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Two-day course: "COVID-19 From Virus to Vaccine: Biological, Clinical, and Public Health Dimensions"
  • Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.: Thriving Online - A Weekly Workshop
  • Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.: COVID-19 from Virus to Vaccine: Biological, Clinical, and Public Health Dimensions
  • Friday, Aug. 28, 2020, 1 p.m. to 2:30 pm: Beyond Headlines and Hashtags - LIVE Friday Review of Pandemic News
  • Sunday, Aug. 30, 2020, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.: Unbroken Circle Song and Story Swap
  • Monday, Aug. 31, 2020, 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.: Thriving Online - A Weekly Workshop


Visit the events calendar for more information.


Showcase Kickoff Aug. 25 at noon.

Introductory remarks will be provided by the following University and company leaders:

  • Shih-Fu Chang: Senior Executive Vice Dean for The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science; Richard Dicker Professor of Telecommunications; Professor of Computer Science
  • Jeannette M. Wing: Avanessians Director of the Data Science Institute at Columbia University; Professor of Computer Science
  • Mary C. Boyce: Dean, Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science; Morris A. and Alma Schapiro Professor; Professor of Mechanical Engineering
  • Alistair Rennie: General Manager, Blockchain, IBM

Following the showcase kickoff, the Center will host four sessions. Each session will include lightning talks followed by a live Q&A on the following:

  1. Building incentives for data transparency and blockchains, Sept. 10 at noon.
  2. Systems Implementation for Technology, Sept. 17 at noon.
  3. Economics, Policy, Privacy & Ethics, Sept. 24 at noon.
  4. Supply Chains, Oct. 1 at noon.

The sessions will feature research from Columbia faculty, blockchain and data transparency focused curriculum, speakers from IBM, and pitches from Columbia-IBM Launch Accelerator teams. You will have the opportunity to engage with our presenters throughout the sessions.


  • Aug. 26: Virtual Book Launch Webinar with Bill Eimicke and Georgia Pessoa (Humanize Institute) — Rio de Janeiro Center
  • Sept. 1: Craig Spencer presents his President’s Global Innovation Fund migration in North Africa research project, with updates on COVID-19 — Tunis Center
  • Sept. 2: Talk by Craig Spencer on COVID-19 in New York: 6 Months Later — Tunis Center