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Baltimoreans have called for a black arts and entertainment district to be designated in the city for years. Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle, a local grassroots think tank, formally applied to recognize a historic part of Pennsylvania Avenue in Upton as such a district this year. After a kick-off event in the area this weekend, the creation of a black arts district has never seemed more achievable.
The University has often been slow to meet students’ demands or interests. Student groups such as Refuel Our Future and Students Against Private Police (SAPP) have spoken out against the University for its reluctance to fully divest from fossil fuels and for not incorporating enough student input when proposing the private police force bill. Yet in improving disability services on campus, administrators have been quick to respond to the demands of the student group Advocates for Disability Awareness (ADA).
Last Thursday, following decades of accusations from over 50 survivors of sexual assault and years of courtroom battles, a Pennsylvania jury finally found Bill Cosby guilty on three counts of felony aggravated indecent assault, which include sexually assaulting a woman he had drugged in 2004.
At the start of the semester, The News-Letter set to work on an in-depth feature about the Office of Institutional Equity (OIE) and its handling of sexual assault and harassment cases. Over the past several months, eight survivors came forward to share their stories with our reporter. We would like to recognize those eight individuals who bravely shared their stories with The News-Letter.
While we all walk along the brick paths of Homewood campus everyday, we often do not take time to think about the lives of those who came before us. Eight students who organized the event “More Than A Name: Enslaved Families at Historic Homewood” did take the time on Monday to highlight the history of enslaved people that worked the land that is now Homewood campus.
This year’s SGA executive election is essentially uncontested. Three out of four positions have a single candidate running, and only two candidates are running for the position of Executive President. The New Horizons ticket — comprised of Noh Mebrahtu for Executive President, AJ Tsang for Executive Vice President, Mi Tu for Executive Treasurer and Aspen Williams for Executive Secretary — is currently running against Jessup Jong, who is vying for Executive President. After speaking with all the candidates, we are pleased that they are all passionate about the wellbeing of the student body and shaping the direction that the school can take in the coming years. That being said, we fully endorse the New Horizons ticket.
Last Friday, Maryland state legislators announced that they are withdrawing their support for the bill that would have allowed the University to create a private police force. This announcement came as a victory for the many student and community organizers who have been working tirelessly over the past couple of weeks to defeat the bill.
The student group Advocates for Disability Awareness (ADA) released a series of demands on Monday calling for the University to address a series of deficiencies in the way Hopkins currently accommodates students with disabilities. These demands, which are addressed to senior administrators, including President Ronald J. Daniels, were made in the wake of the dismissal of Dr. Brent Mosser. Mosser was the former director of academic support and disability services and served as an important advocate for students with disabilities on campus.
Residential Advisors (RAs) are some of the first people we meet upon arriving at Hopkins. They shape our first year experience and ease us through the transition from high school to college. The responsibilities of an RA go beyond just the hours they spend on duty. The job is vital to the emotional wellbeing of students and the position can often be emotionally, physically and psychologically taxing on RAs themselves.
Last Tuesday the Baltimore Beat, an alternative weekly newspaper which helped fill the void left by the City Paper, announced it was going out of print after only four months of publication.
On Monday, March 5 the University announced its intent to create a private police force. In the following week and a half, students created a petition against the proposal that has since garnered thousands of signatures; protested in front of University President Ronald J. Daniels’ home for the first time in recent memory; led phone banking efforts to voice their discontent to Maryland legislators; and expressed their concerns at forums both at Homewood and at the Medical Campus.
This past Monday, with no prior warning, Hopkins students received an email from University President Ronald J. Daniels and CEO of Hopkins Medicine Paul B. Rothman regarding a bill that is being introduced this week in the Maryland General Assembly. The bill “would give private colleges and universities in Baltimore City the authority to work with the Baltimore Police Department (BPD) to create a university police department.”
Responding to pressure from students in 2016, the University began a thorough review of the status of mental health across all nine Hopkins schools. At that time, they formed the Task Force on Student Mental Health and Well-being which is comprised of 28 faculty, staff and students. Last week, the Task Force released their formal report, which included the findings from a 2016 mental health survey and recommendations on how to improve University resources.
Last spring, the University announced that Shriver Hall would be closed during the fall semester of 2017 to address safety concerns from old lighting and wiring systems. This construction was originally expected to be finished by the beginning of this semester.
The Peer-led Team Learning Program (PILOT) is one of University’s most successful initiatives for fostering academic collaboration and creative learning. PILOT has become an important institution particularly for students in introductory math, science and engineering courses in which large class sizes can hinder our ability to learn.
Last August, Baltimore City Mayor Catherine Pugh announced her decision to remove the Lee-Jackson monument in the Wyman Park Dell. The monument, built in 1948 — 83 years after the Civil War — celebrated Generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, who both fought on the Confederate side of the Civil War.
For the past six years, the student group, Refuel our Future (Refuel), has been calling for our Board of Trustees to divest its endowment from fossil fuels as a way to show the University’s commitment to an environmentally sustainable future. Last December, the Board announced that they will divest the endowment from thermal coal. This is a step in the right direction but falls short of what we and many others called for.
In this week’s editorials, we would like to highlight two stories that we believe are not discussed on our campus as much as they should be. Both stories are grounded in historically rooted problems that carry very real implications today. Even though these stories may not always be in the headlines that we read, we hope that we can — at the very least — be aware of them and perhaps, do something about them. — The Editorial Board
College campuses have long been hubs for student activism, and the Homewood campus is no exception. From protests against South African apartheid in the 1980s to demonstrations for contract workers’ rights in more recent years, Hopkins activists have been fighting for causes they believe in for decades.
Renowned investor Bill Miller recently donated $75 million to the University’s Department of Philosophy. Not only is this donation the largest gift to any Hopkins humanities department, but it is also the largest donation to any philosophy dpeartment in the country.