Editorial: When will the University lift its ban on new arts groups?

By THE EDITORIAL BOARD | September 21, 2017

The University has enacted a moratorium on students forming new arts and community service groups.

Regarding service groups, the University imposed these restrictions  because the Center for Social Concern (CSC) noted that many existing groups have overlapping goals.

The Editorial Board is pleased to see that the CSC is taking a critical look at how we can best serve Baltimore. We acknowledge the concerns raised about redundancy and we encourage interested students to look for opportunities provided by existing service groups.

However, for arts groups, the administration justified the ban by citing concerns over limited practice space and resources.

We acknowledge and understand why these restrictions have been enacted, especially given that Shriver Hall is closed. We know that space is limited and that it requires a lot of money and time for the University to build new practice and performance facilities.

However, arts groups are a vital part of our campus.

These groups provide outlets for performing students to express themselves and their cultures. They also offer invaluable mental health support, allowing students to de-stress from the pressures of life at Hopkins.  These benefits not only impact student performers but student audiences as well.

Additionally, Hopkins prides itself on how students can take the initiative to control their undergraduate experience by creating and leading groups. Restricting our ability to take such initiative goes against our campus culture.

The administration has imposed a blanket ban rather than find a solution that preserves our freedom to form groups while recognizing the University’s legitimate concerns.

While there is a projected end to the moratorium on forming new service groups, the University’s lack of transparency about the future of arts is concerning. There is no proposed end date to this moratorium.

We urge the University to establish a concrete timeline for when new groups will be allowed to be accepted.

 

Correction: The editorial previously stated that the CSC has not proposed a timeline as to when the moratorium will end. The ban on forming new service groups will in fact end at the end of this academic school year.

The News-Letter regrets this error.

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