String of robberies strikes the Homewood campus

By CLARK KENT | April 1, 2018

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APRIL FOOL’S: This article was published as part of The News-Letter’s annual April Fool’s edition, an attempt at adding some humor to a newspaper that is normally very serious about its reporting.

Baltimore Police are currently investigating a series of robberies that have occurred at multiple locations around Homewood Campus. Many students have reported that their health and happiness have been stolen, alleging that they were taken forcefully and against their will. 

Victims range in age, gender and major, and they have been robbed at varying times in places like the Brody Reading Room and Krieger Hall basement. However, despite the differences in time and place, victims described a common suspect: a white man in his mid to late 50s wearing a suit. Witnesses say that he was last seen walking into Garland Hall. 

The News-Letter obtained police reports from the Baltimore Police Department that detail stolen items. Specific items that students have reported missing include: the time to eat a meal other than uncooked instant ramen; the ability to sleep; the will to get out of bed in the morning; a peaceful state of mind; and a social life. Others say that they have been robbed of clear skin, meaningful relationships and good posture.

Senior Anna Nicole, who is originally from Los Angeles, Calif. said that her happiness was stolen the minute she stepped foot on Homewood Campus. Since August, she has been robbed of other things, too. 

“I used to have a tan and a six pack before I came to Hopkins,” she said. “Now both of those have been taken from me. I don’t even recognize myself anymore.”

Priya Medd, a sophomore, explained that she was robbed during her Organic Chemistry II class, when she got back her midterm exam scores. 

“Reality hit me when I failed that test. I realized that I have no personality, no friends and no 4.0 GPA,” she said.

Provost Sunil Kumar denied the existence of these robberies. He said that Hopkins students are inherently competitive and subscribe to a “work-hard” attitude that can jeopardize their mental health. 

“This is not a public safety issue. It’s a mental health problem,” he said. 

Matthias Torrs, the executive director of the Counseling Center, suggested that students seek help if they feel overwhelmed or stressed out. 

“We are here to offer students treatment or counseling if they’re willing to wait one month to get an appointment,” he said. 

Executive Director of Campus Safety and Security Christina Presberry advised students to respond calmly in the event of a robbery. 

“I’d like to remind everyone that if you find yourself the victim of a robbery, do not resist and do not pursue suspects,” she said. “Stay calm, listen and observe intently, surrender any requested property/tuition and report the crime as soon as possible.”

She also addressed students’ claims that their mental and physical health is in danger. 

“Campus Safety and Security is here to ensure that all students can feel safe and secure on campus,” she said. “I have no comment for students’ claims that they are endangered on Homewood Campus. It’s the safest place in Baltimore. That’s why we’re trying to establish our own police force.”

Freshman Ryan Penn, who filed several reports detailing a loss of self esteem and desire to learn, suggested that students simply leave Hopkins to protect themselves from further robberies. If they are unable to transfer, he said that getting off campus is a temporary solution.

“During the first semester, I tried to just stay in my dorm room to stay safe, but that obviously didn’t work,” he said. “So this week, I took a walk off campus and just explored Baltimore for a bit. It was the first time I felt like myself again.” 

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