Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
April 18, 2021

SGA considers mandating fish bowl helmets instead of face masks

By ELISA ESPOSITO | April 1, 2021

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COURTESY OF NATIONAL AQUARIUM

SGA considered a proposal by Daniel Grumpf, a student who aims to impose a fish bowl mandate on the student body.

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.

Daniel Grumpf, a sixth-year student, presented a business proposal to the Student Government Association (SGA) at its weekly meeting on March 30. Grumpf’s plan is to normalize, even mandate, wearing fish bowls instead of face masks around campus. 

“Currently, I feel like a weirdo, almost out of place, when I wear a fish bowl during my routine morning jog,” Grumpf said.

The meeting took place despite SGA’s original plan to cancel, as it was a treasured spring break day. After initially refusing to comment, one anonymous member of SGA complained to The News-Letter about this development.

“Using our spring break day for SGA work was unreasonable,” she said. “It makes me wanna quit and write a diss News-Letter article about it.”

Grumpf was a student at the Peabody Institute pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree, until he switched to economics at the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences during his senior year. He is also working on creating an undergraduate program at Carey Business School, as he may attend and drop out of multiple programs before graduating.

Grumpf presented his business plan with a PowerPoint slideshow preceded by his originally composed ukulele melody “One fish, two fish, three fish, no COVID.” His proposal, after its unsuccessful application for a grant from the JH Needs U initiative, represents COVID-19 mitigation innovation on the individual level. 

“It could start with campus security wearing bullet-proof fish bowls or something like that,” Grumpf said. 

Grumpf asked SGA to fund this initiative.

“I want to start this with an initial distribution of 50 fish bowls through CampusGroups sign-ups, just to get the hype up,” he said. 

SGA received the proposal with mixed reactions. 

Senior Class Senator Anti Fisherman doubted the scientific literature backing the use of fish bowls as cited in the presentation.

“The source literature listed is not peer-reviewed,” she said. “It is also not a paper, just a Prezi presentation from a high school group project.” 

Senior Class Senator Bro Ken Glassman, who co-chairs the Health, Safety and Sustainability Committee, praised the environmental benefits of fish bowls compared to disposable masks that people still need to wear as a daily health protocol on campus. 

“However, this may cause longer-term health issues, like burdening students’ bone structure, especially in more delicate areas like the neck and lower back,” he said. “Or there may be potential risks for injury if the glass shatters in public.”

Sophomore Class Senator Nemo Jaws spoke against the initiative, noting that even though the funding comes indirectly from all students’ tuition, international students currently stuck abroad cannot participate in the fish bowl opportunity.

Finally, Grumpf provided a mostly-filled template of the bill for SGA to sponsor and pass, which would fund the distribution of 50 fish bowls, as well as promotional stickers and posters. 

However, no one wanted to sponsor the bill, so it was not considered in the Senate.

“Well, that was anticlimactic,” said Grumpf in a post-meeting interview with The News-Letter.

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