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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.
Since 1998, the Program of Women, Gender, and Sexuality (WGS) has given students and faculty the space they need to engage with interdiscplinary feminist and queer scholarship — scholarship that has long been overlooked and undervalued.
After years of protests from students, the University continues to invest in fossil fuel companies. It has an exclusivity contract with PepsiCo, a company that uses suppliers who violate child labor laws, going against ethical and sustainable business practices. Most recently, the University was slow to end contracts with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the government agency that is responsible for separating families at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Under Donald Trump, the U.S. has become increasingly unsafe for undocumented immigrants. Shortly after announcing his presidential campaign, Trump infamously called Mexican immigrants criminals and rapists. In 2017, he announced plans to rescind Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), an Obama-era executive order granting work permits and protection from deportation to over 700,000 Dreamers — undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children.
We all remember our first week of freshman year. Nervous and cautious, we moved into our dorms, met our roommates and wandered around campus and Baltimore for the first time.
For many of us in Baltimore, Representative Elijah Cummings was a hero. Cummings, who’d lived in a West Baltimore row home for over three decades, was a tireless fighter for civil rights. During the Uprising, he walked among protesters and police, calling for peace. He advocated for the state to pool more resources into treating drug addicts in our city. Most recently, he spoke out against U.S. President Donald Trump after he called Baltimore a “rat and rodent infested mess.”
We all see the construction along Saint Paul Street: It’s loud, imposing and causes us to reroute our walk across the neighborhood. The construction, part of the University’s Charles Village Streetscape Project, has made its way up the street since March and won’t conclude until December.