Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
October 22, 2021

SGA discusses mental health and resumption of Community Talks

By KAITLYN JUNG | September 28, 2021

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SGA discussed the elimination of fall break.

The Student Government Association (SGA) held its weekly meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 21 to discuss a presentation by The Flock, feedback for a program called “Community Talks,” final edits to its Mental Health Day survey and vote confirmation on a letter to the University’s Committee to Establish Principles on Naming. 

The Flock Presentation

The Flock is a program to encourage students to come to athletics events. As the first official student section in Hopkins Athletics, The Flock hopes to cultivate school spirit and provide another aspect of the college experience.

Danielle Bejar, a representative for The Flock, gave insight into the events planned for the semester, which include a Pack-the-Nest Game, fundraisers, awareness about pediatric cancer and breast cancer, class competitions with incentives and giveaways through its Instagram

“Community Talks” Feedback

“Community Talks” were initiatives led by Homewood Student Affairs from 2017 to 2018 to create a safe space where students could share thoughts and grievances as well as engage in open dialogue related to topics that matter to them. 

  • According to SGA’s Faculty Advisor Carolyn Harris, some University administrators have discussed bringing “Community Talks” back in a manner that is “mindful and ahead of issues that students might have.” 
  • The plan is for these talks to be at a regular space every week for an hour.
  • SGA suggested several topics of interest, including the University administration and the culture of dismissing mental health; wifi issues on campus, particularly at Brody; historical topics centering on Baltimore and Charles Village and improvements with the Life Design Lab and its career services in the professional field.
  • Other topics of interest brought up by SGA members included discussions regarding diversity, equity and inclusion; targeted support for student organizations; personal safety at parties regarding protocol for Hopkins Emergency Response Organization, ambiguous COVID-19 policy guidelines and contacting paramedics; the private police force and public safety. 

Mental Health Day Survey

Sophomore Class Senator Rachel Huang presented a Mental Health Day survey through CampusGroups, through which responses will be accepted until the next meeting on Sept. 28. 

  • “The survey will be used to support a resolution to convert two of the additional reading days into Mental Health Days in October or November,” Huang said.
  • Executive Vice President Breanna Soldatelli clarified that on a Mental Health Day, there would be no classes, deadlines or assignments due to encourage a mental break from classes. 
  • SGA also discussed how the elimination of fall break is intended to unify the academic calendars of all nine Hopkins schools. 

University Naming Committee Letter

The University’s Committee to Establish Principles on Naming was created around a year and a half ago to address the renaming and de-naming of facilities, programs and funding opportunities that may be associated with people who furthered injustice. Senior Class President Nathan Mudrak penned a follow-up letter regarding the draft report that was last updated in April 2021. 

  • The committee’s draft report was reportedly well-received, thoughtful and insightful according to Mudrak. 
  • SGA concluded the meeting unanimously in favor of this letter being sent. 
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