University uses Philosophy’s $75M to give humanities students free printing

By H. P. LASERJET 500 | 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.

After encouraging Hopkins alumnus William H. Miller III in January to donate $75 million to the University’s philosophy department, University President Ronald J. Daniels has persuaded department chairwoman Kim Kierkegaardashian to reallocate the benefaction to purchasing free printing for all humanities students at the Sheridan Libraries.

Daniels believes that this decision alone will defeat the stereotype that the Hopkins administration undervalues the humanities. By covering their printing expenditures, Daniels seeks to ensure that humanities students can acquire savings during their undergraduate years off of which they can live if they are inevitably unemployed.

Senior Writing Seminars major Aditi Kapoor wishes that printing had been made free for her when she was a freshman.

“Do you know how many tens of dollars I’ve spent on printing? Probably more than I’ll ever make in my entire career,” she said.

Kapoor admitted that she was unsure of what her career would be.

Kierkegaardashian explained why she changed her mind about how the money was to be used.

“We were originally going to use the gift to endow new positions and support faculty research, graduate students, post-doctoral fellowships and undergraduate programs and courses, and I personally aimed to incorporate Eastern philosophy into the department. But President Daniels convinced me that we should spread the wealth to benefit not only philosophy students, but all humanities students at Hopkins,” she said.

Daniels argued that this repurposing better aligns with the intention of Miller’s donation: to tackle the University’s deficit in funding for the humanities.

Although rising freshman Adedayo Oyeyemi claimed that the hefty donation to the philosophy department had played a significant role in his decision to accept his offer of admission to the class of 2022, he admitted that free printing outweighs the benefit of a more diverse curriculum.

Sophomore Philosophy major Thomas Hobbies echoed opposing sentiments.

“I was truly excited to take classes in Eastern philosophy or ones in American philosophy, the philosophy of physics and the philosophy of space and time, but now I’m going to again be restrained to learning how a few ancient European males felt about the universe,” she said.

Daniels struck a parallel between the implementation of free printing for humanities students and Johannes Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press in approximately 1440.

“We believe strongly that offering humanities students free printing will spark the same renaissance, revolution and enlightenment for the liberal arts that did the global propagation of the printing press,” he said. “This reformation will be a sufficient means of supporting humanities students.”    

Freshman Natasha Smirnov, who is interested in forming a new a cappella group, thinks it might be more helpful for the money to go to the further delayed renovation of Shriver Hall in order to provide new performing arts groups, the ban on which will likely have to be extended, space to practice and perform.

Numerous engineering majors who currently have free printing, like Gus Aiffel, found it unfair that humanities students do too.

“Although I may have limitless job prospects, I don’t feel that humanities students should be rewarded for twiddling their thumbs and sitting on their butts all day. Hopkins is clearly neglecting its students in STEM,” he said.

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