Editorial: FAS lineup reflects current political climate on campus

February 23, 2017

The Foreign Affairs Symposium’s (FAS) speaker series theme this semester is “Undercurrent,” which the promotional poster describes as “an underlying feeling or influence, especially one that is contrary to the prevailing atmosphere.”

So far, we’ve seen inspiring speakers like Nadya Tolokonnikova, a member of Russian protest band Pussy Riot, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a Hopkins grad and acclaimed writer, and Junot Díaz, an award-winning novelist.

The Editorial Board commends FAS for both a fascinating lineup and theme. College campuses have always been places where people can freely express dissent. Given the current state of American politics and the political climate here at Hopkins, these speakers have never been more welcome, and students have consistently praised FAS’s choices.

FAS has demonstrated a clear awareness of and commitment to the topics that are important to the Hopkins community and has responded by bringing a diverse and creative group of people to share their experiences.

Upcoming speakers Aneesh Chopra, a former United States Chief Technology Officer, and Suroosh Alvi, a founder of VICE Media, represent science and journalism, respectively, two fields that the Trump administration has unjustly attacked. Their perspective is needed now more than ever.

FAS will exhibit art by Ai Weiwei, a Chinese artist and social activist, on  and will bring Ron Capps to campus to discuss the Veterans Writing Project, a program that helps veterans cope with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) through writing. FAS’s decision to branch out from their traditional event format is welcome and further reflects their commitment to community engagement.

The Editorial Board thanks FAS for such a captivating lineup, and we encourage members of the Hopkins community to take advantage of the speakers and events that are yet to happen this semester.

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