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Since 2015, several colleges and universities have called into question whether they should take back honorary degrees they had previously awarded to comedian and actor Bill Cosby. Over 50 women have accused Cosby of sexual assault. His first trial last June ended in a mistrial and he is set to appear in court again in April.
Refuel Our Future (Refuel), a student-led fossil fuel divestment campaign, organized a rally in front of Gilman Hall on Tuesday afternoon, demanding that the University fully divest from fossil fuels. Their protest responded to the Board of Trustees’ decision last December to divest its endowment from thermal coal companies.
After a five month long process that started in September 2017, a bill proposing a ban on polystyrene foam (Styrofoam) products in the food service industry received a City Council hearing on Tuesday, February 6. City Council voted unanimously to send the bill to Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh’s desk for approval.
Sophomore Madelynn Wellons, a survivor of sexual assault on Homewood campus, spoke out against Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos at a press conference on Jan. 25.
More than four months have passed since Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico in September, leaving many without electricity, cell service and clean water. Many Puerto Rican Hopkins students returned home during the winter holidays to families who are still suffering from the effects of the storm.
The men’s basketball team was riding a five-game winning streak as they entered two more Conference games this past weekend. They nipped at the heels of the top two teams in the Centennial Conference, winning in games against the Gettysburg College Bullets and the Dickinson College Red Devils.
In this feature, we explore how space science research has been and still is associated with both absurdity and great power competition. We delve into the roots of rocketry in war, the space race between the U.S. and the USSR, and what some consider to be the beginnings of a second space race between the U.S. and China. Through this piece, we hope to shed light on the nature of international competition and cooperation in space.
The Humanities Center at Hopkins, which faced threat of closure last school year, has changed its name to the Department of Comparative Thought and Literature. For some graduate students, the name change fails to reflect the department’s academic focus and erases the history of the Center.
The decision to change the name was announced online on Nov. 20 and was put in place on Jan. 1. According to the online announcement, the new name recognizes the department’s focus on the intersection of literature, philosophy and aesthetics.
The Center was established in 1966 as an interdisciplinary humanities consortium under the leadership of Charles Singleton. Throughout the years, the department has run a graduate program and maintained an active program of visiting scholars, professors and lecturers.
In 2016, the University considered closing the Center but ultimately decided not to in 2017. Graduate students created a campaign called “Hands off the Humanities” and held several protests to rally against the threat of closure. The University commissioned a review committee in January 2017 to determine the future of the department.
The Tabb Committee, headed by Sheridan Dean of University Libraries and Museums Winston Tabb, submitted a report recommending that the Center narrow its academic scope and then gave options to either retain its current name or rename it to reflect its change in focus.
To choose a new name, the faculty in the department were asked to contribute ideas for new names, and collectively came to their final choice.
In March, Betsy Bryan, a professor in the Department of Near Eastern Studies and vice dean of humanities and social sciences, was appointed as the interim chair, replacing Professor and former Chair Hent de Vries.
The decision surprised students and faculty in the Center, since they were not informed ahead of time, and Bryan had no prior affiliation with the Center.
In an email to The News-Letter, Bryan explained that faculty were directly involved in choosing a name for the Center.
“I asked the current faculty for department names that would best represent what the department does. The name ‘Comparative Thought and Literature’ was the result of a number of discussions, all trending in the same direction,” Bryan wrote. “The younger faculty… have really guided the trajectory the last year and most particularly during this fall’s search.”
Leonardo Lisi, associate professor and the Center’s director of undergraduate studies, said that as the Humanities Center, the department had offered comparative literature to graduate students as one of the tracks.
One of the options the Tabb Committee suggested in its 2017 report was for the Center to become the Comparative Literature department, which Lisi and other faculty opposed.
"The question was how to find a name that resonates with the focus...Comparative Thought and Literature was identified as the more appropriate name,” Lisi said. “Comparative Literature just as a name doesn’t really reflect what our faculty do.”
While the faculty of the department were directly involved in renaming the Center and some graduate students were able to offer ideas, graduate students were not consulted about the final options for the name.
Benjamin Stein, a graduate student in the department, was disappointed by the chosen name and the decision to change the name in the first place.
After soliciting feedback from concerned student groups, the University released a revised version of its suggested guidelines for free expression on Jan. 29.
Music suffers some of the harshest disrespect of any of the arts. All too many people who consider themselves music fans (including me) often listen to music in the background while doing something else — grinding through work, driving or any other menial task. It is rare for anyone to sit down, clear their schedule and listen to an album.
Hopkins alum William H. Miller donated $75 million to the University’s philosophy department in January. The donation, the largest ever to a university philosophy program, made national headlines, and the department will now bear the name: William H. Miller Department of Philosophy.
The Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research released a study in January evaluating the tactics of the Baltimore Police Department (BPD) to counter gun violence in the City. According to the study, sending plainclothes officers into areas with high levels of crime is the most effective way to reduce gun violence.
At a packed Baltimore City Public Schools (BCPS) board meeting on Tuesday, hundreds of parents, teachers and students gathered to voice their outrage over heating problems that have affected classrooms since schools returned for the new year.
The University’s Board of Trustees voted to divest its endowment from thermal coal on Friday. The vote, which was announced in a statement on Tuesday, comes almost three months after the Public Interest Investment Advisory Committee (PIIAC) recommended that the University divest from fossil fuels.