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Today, the future looks uncertain, and the conditions of life seem untenable. This is what it means to live in times of crisis. And in times such as these, the journalist’s highest form of service is to faithfully deliver to the public whatever measure of clarity and understanding that they can. But to do that, they need the public’s trust. They need to have earned it in the past, and to have kept earning it ever since.
In response to “We all miss campus, but making the return optional isn’t equitable” published on June 26, 2020:
What do you call the phase of spending cuts that precedes thoughtful, deliberative planning?
Recently, University President Ronald J. Daniels informed students that while Hopkins will offer some degree of in-person instruction and residential living this coming fall, no student will be required to return to campus. All or most courses will be offered online.
I have been an international student for the past eight years, but I may not be one anymore. I had believed America to be a wonderland of dreams, equality and tolerance for all.
I went to a protest earlier this month. I proudly held up a hand-painted sign as I joined the chorus of anguished cries and marched with 2000 other members of my community. I was impressed by the turnout, especially in my very white suburban Missouri town. As one of the few people of color in my community, I grew up feeling isolated and unknown, but as I heard my friends and neighbors proclaim, “Black lives matter!” I felt something new. I felt seen and heard and wanted. Knowing that communities across the nation were chanting the same thing, I was filled with hope. Maybe my people really are important to this country. Maybe Black lives really do matter to white America.
Three days ago, top University officials announced that they would be halting their plans to create a private police force (JHPD) for at least two years. This was the second communication sent to the student body in response to the protests that began when George Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis police officer. It took almost an entire week after Floyd’s death for the University to release a statement.
As a child, I watched the 1992 Los Angeles protests, spurred by police brutality against Rodney King. Today, my children are watching a similar scene unfold.
With students stuck in quarantine and living in limbo during this coronavirus pandemic, many of us have been wondering: How will remote education work moving forward? As President Christina Paxson of Brown University argued in the New York Times, college campuses across the U.S. should reopen in the fall — but what that will look like remains up in the air.
When people ask us why we want to go into journalism, our response is almost reflexive. “Our passion,” we say, “is amplifying voices that often go unheard.” As protests across the country condemn police brutality and centuries of racial injustice, we’re thinking about how to best amplify black voices as Editors-in-Chief of The News-Letter.
Ahmaud Arbery. Sean Reed. Breonna Taylor. George Floyd. Tony McDade. Yassin Mohammed. These are the names that have recently been added to the Black community’s ever-growing directory of murdered souls. These are the names that have been etched into our minds. The names that we will shout every time we have to fight for justice. Their lives, their stories and their deaths have become integral parts of each and every one of our experiences. From strangers to something much stronger than family.
The first time I visited Homewood Campus also happened to be the first night of the Garland Sit-In. Through all of the tours, class visits, events and students I spoke with during Spring Open House and Overnight Program (SOHOP), what I remember most is University President Ronald J. Daniels standing on stage, briefly addressing the protest that was taking place just across the quad. He was extremely dismissive of the protests, and it seemed to me that he did not care at all about what the students had to say. After one year at Hopkins, I have come to realize that this brief moment in Shriver Hall is emblematic of University leadership’s disregard for student voices.
I am both honored and heartbroken to have the opportunity to put my thoughts on paper and share them with you. I want to use this platform to tell my story and the story of my city.
On Friday, May 22, Vice Provosts Nancy Kass and Stephen Gange abruptly ended ongoing meetings with Teachers and Researchers United (TRU), the Homewood Graduate Representative Organization, the School of Medicine Graduate Student Association and the Hopkins School of Public Health Student Assembly. These meetings had served as a forum to collectively determine how the Hopkins administration would support its graduate students during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
When Hopkins shut down due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, I knew that the second half of my semester was going to be strange. I knew that it would be hard. I imagined trying to take finals surrounded by my very loud Syrian family. I imagined finding social distancing lonely and the overabundance of family time grating. I imagined finally using my EMT training to help COVID-19 patients in my county, but I never imagined that I would become one.
I entered a convenience store in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on a warm summer day in 2016. The shop was less than two miles from City Hall, and less than 10 from my home. I was dressed plainly: a tan hat, a plain white t-shirt, black leggings and a dark green book-bag. Upon entering, I gave the cashier a cursory nod.
As I prepared to tread the path of Public Editor, I searched for signposts which would show me the way. I connected with other public editors, considering their ideas in the context of The News-Letter. I read journal articles about the ethics of the reader representative role and studies about how journalism’s audience shifted in the digital age. I pored over our past issues to understand the history underpinning the paper’s coverage of Hopkins students.
Five years ago, Baltimore residents took to the streets to protest the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man from Sandtown-Winchester. Gray died on April 19 from a severe spinal cord injury sustained while in police custody, yet no officer was convicted.
U.S. President Donald Trump announced a pause in funding to the World Health Organization (WHO) on April 14. As part of his daily press briefing, Trump emphasized the country’s “duty to insist on full accountability” and publicly asked for a review into the agency’s “mismanaging” of the pandemic. The United States is the largest single contributor to the WHO, and the withdrawal of Trump’s support will be a significant hit to its budget. It is not yet clear whether the White House can actually withhold funding, especially the portion approved by Congress, and if so, how much can be held back. Nevertheless, even talk of doing so in the middle of a global health and economic crisis may have dire consequences.
“Oh, I forgot to add a tip!” I said, just after paying my bill for a drink with some friends on a cold January night in Baltimore.