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Yesterday, a grand jury in Louisville, Ky. failed to bring justice for Breonna Taylor. Only one of the three officers involved in her death was indicted for first-degree wanton endangerment charges. Not a single officer was actually charged for her death.
It’s been an exhausting year and election cycle, and it’s not even close to over. Last week, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg — a pioneer for gender equality and symbol of perseverance — passed away after a long fight against cancer.
Hopkins was named the nation’s ninth best university by U.S. News & World Report on Monday, moving up a spot from last year.
To say that the University has a history of poor communication is an understatement. This has been particularly evident over the course of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. For example, amid a nationwide reckoning with structural racism, Hopkins has yet to take any meaningful action to address its contributions to these issues. While we were signing leases and booking flights, Hopkins failed to update us on its plans for the fall semester. And now that we have inevitably returned to Baltimore, Hopkins has failed to offer us adequate support.
Eight days before classes even started, the University announced that a small cluster of off-campus students in Baltimore had tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19). In the same email, administrators urged students to stay at home, as they did in their delayed decision to switch from hybrid learning to online-only.
“Maybe what we have to be doing is communicating more effectively why we haven’t made a decision, what the factors are that are going to go into that decision,” University President Ronald J. Daniels said in an interview with The News-Letter at the end of April. “Maybe that’s a way to deal with this new normal of pretty profound uncertainty across a number of our operations.”
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.
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.
Twenty-five years ago, Hopkins students buried a time capsule outside of the Milton S. Eisenhower Library to be opened on Earth Day 2020. In 1995, a student involved with the project hoped that those opening the vessel would reflect on how much progress had been made since 1970 and be inspired for the next 25 years of environmental action.
We don’t know when we will next be on campus, but someday we will be. And when we are, things will not be as they once were.
When Hopkins implemented mandatory, universal satisfactory/unsatisfactory (S/U) grading for all undergraduates at Homewood on March 27, we supported the decision. It took into account the thousands of students who had signed petitions demanding alternative grading systems during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, as well as direct input from the Student Government Association (SGA) and the Homewood Academic Council.
Over the last few weeks, panic over the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has swept the nation. Now more than ever the University needs to support students, particularly when it comes to their mental health.
Hopkins is one of the most powerful institutions in Baltimore. It is the city’s largest employer: over 17,000 of its 37,000 employees are Baltimore residents. As a world-renowned university with an endowment of over $4 billion, Hopkins has the means and the responsibility of creating a more equitable economy for our city’s residents.
The coronavirus (COVID-19) officially became a pandemic on Wednesday, March 11. Yet just last week, Hopkins was mostly operating as usual. Classes proceeded as planned, clubs held their meetings, sports teams practiced and performing arts groups planned their spring productions.
In an attempt to increase voter turnout and streamline the voting process, the student body will vote for candidates on the Student Government Association’s (SGA) class councils and executive boards at the same time this year.
For decades, Harvey Weinstein preyed on women in the film industry. And for decades, he got away with it. As a wealthy Oscar-winning producer and co-founder of Miramax and The Weinstein Company, Weinstein was one of the most powerful men in Hollywood, and he seemed invincible.
Since 2012, college students across the U.S. have been calling on their universities to divest from fossil fuel companies. At Hopkins, student group Refuel Our Future (Refuel) has been leading the fight for divestment. In November 2019, student protesters at Harvard and Yale disrupted the Harvard-Yale football game to call on their universities to divest. At over 50 universities, Hopkins included, students held events to recognize Fossil Fuel Divestment Day.
Last week, the Second Commission on Undergraduate Education (CUE2) released a set of recommendations to revamp the undergraduate curriculum at Hopkins. These recommendations aim to improve the undergraduate experience, with an emphasis on student health and wellbeing.
Though the spring semester has just begun, the Office of the University Registrar is already looking ahead at next year’s academic calendar. On Friday, Jan. 31 Hopkins announced plans to implement a University-wide calendar in an email.
Though the semester is just beginning, clubs and student organizations are already deep in planning for their big events of the spring, from the Barnstormers’ annual musical to Homecoming Weekend. It’s impossible not to be reminded of upcoming events – any walk around campus or a scroll through social media features flyers and notifications.