As President Daniels speaks about creating new partnerships in the community and students submit new ideas for community engagements to Idea Lab, an initiative by Hopkins to give funding to new programs, I begin to question the quality of work we have done for our existing community partners.
I work at an after school program, near Tench Tilghman Elementary and Middle School, and during my months working there, I have heard a lot of children complain about the sanitation of their school. They complained about the roaches and the rats.
When I walk past the school, it looks similar to a sewer, with trash everywhere. What I found the most surprising about the school was that its community partner was Hopkins and that the school of public health was located five blocks away. How could Hopkins, with the best school of Public Health in the nation, not implement or assist good public health practices with its community partners?
So I emailed Hopkins asking them to help the school, but I did not receive a response. I talked to some other students who also seem interested in helping the school and decided to start a petition. As students, we should have the power to choose where Hopkins puts its money. Many students agree with this sentiment.
“We can help. We pay 60k tuition, might of as well give a few G's for this elementary,” freshman Arman Mizani posted in the comments section of the petition.
If we want Hopkins to make a change then we must demand it from Hopkins.
Junior Carissa Zukowski made a good point about the public image this partnership pulls to question.
“Hopkins spends thousands of dollars on publicity events that are supposed to show that "Hopkins cares," but this calls into question the priority of the institution. Let's earn being Top 10 for the right reasons,” she posted in response to the petition.
After 200 petition signatures, the Hopkins administration has agreed to meet to talk, but the petition for more signatures is ongoing. The petition will not be taken down until Hopkins commits to action. Until our community partner has the same sanitation standards as our University.
Naadiya Hutchinson is an underclared freshman from Orlando, Fla.