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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.
I didn’t study abroad during my time at Hopkins. I stayed on campus for all four years and got to live vicariously through my friends posting on Instagram from cities across the globe: London, Buenos Aires, Rome, Sydney, Paris, Amsterdam, Hong Kong, the list goes on. Sometimes I wished I was with them. But at the end of it all, as a second-semester senior, I’m glad I’ve spent four whole years at Hopkins.
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
I first heard about the community of Susya this fall. I was horrified to learn about the ways in which the inhabitants of the village, by virtue of the circumstances of their birth, are forced to live with the constant fear that their homes could be taken away at any moment. Susya is a Palestinian village of about 350 people, located in Area C of the West Bank.
There’s a pretty good chance that you, the Hopkins student reading this article, consumes drugs on the weekend. Or if not you, your friend or your roommate and certainly your classmates.
As they returned to campus this January, students working as leaders in the PILOT program were greeted with an email informing them that the program would be making cutbacks, including some leaders not being assigned a session for the semester. This is terrible news.
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.
At the end of the fall semester, our Board of Trustees finally released their decision on fossil fuel divestment. In an email to the Hopkins community, President Daniels lauded their decision to divest from companies that make more than 35 percent of their profits from coal, rather than follow the Public Interest Investment Advisory Committee (PIIAC)’s recommendations to divest from companies that profit from all types of fossil fuels.
With the introduction of the internet, more specifically social media, activism has ceased to be the radical exercise it once was. Instead, it has become something accessible, something easy, something commonplace. Where marches and mass demonstrations used to be the main staples of activism and awareness, Twitter trends and Instagram hashtags now dominate. That is, movements you can access from the safety of your home, from the anonymity of your phone.
Although the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act signed by Donald Trump on Dec. 22, 2017 does not contain the repeal of tuition remissions for graduate students employed as research assistants (RAs) and teaching assistants (TAs), the occasion of this near-crisis has brought to light a number of important issues for graduate students at Hopkins. The graduate student members of Teachers and Researchers United (TRU) at Hopkins want to emphasize that these issues will outlive the proposed Grad Tax and continue to pose a threat to the stability of doctoral study in the U.S.
On November 15 of this year, 21-year-old rapper/singer Lil Peep died of an apparent overdose. Peep’s music career was inherently linked to the drugs that eventually killed him. He was at the forefront of a genre known as “emo hip hop,” a style which linked the suburban tragedy of bands like My Chemical Romance with contemporary SoundCloud rap. Lyrically, its content is steeped in drug abuse, mental illness and the intersection of the two.
As the #MeToo movement spread, I began reacting in a similar way to each account of sexual assault or harassment. On social media, many people that I just barely knew began briefly explaining their stories or posting a hashtag, declaring that they were victims of some form of sexual harassment.
I am Jewish. It’s an identity and a status that’s immeasurably important to me, and it’s the source of my strong ties to Israel. In Jewish custom, twice each year, at the conclusion of the Passover Seder and at the conclusion of Yom Kippur Ne’ilah services, we say as a group, “le-shanah ha-ba’ah bi-Yerushalayim,” or “Next year in Jerusalem.”
Fifteen years ago, the University announced the creation of a Commission on Undergraduate Education (CUE). This Commission aimed to evaluate the Hopkins undergraduate experience and give recommendations on how to improve it.
In response to "Free speech is a vital part of social progress" published in the Nov. 30 edition of The News-Letter.
People say we are living in a more divided America than ever. Objectively, however, America has seen a lot more division in the past: a border dividing it into North and South; and laws that enforced segregation or gave men more rights than women. In most schools, we now learn that these ideas aren’t okay and that the people who fought them are heroes. Though some disagree, at the very least we are united in the eyes of the law and popular ideology. Taking this into account, what makes America today appear more divided than it was back then?
Two words: #MeToo. One hashtag was all that was necessary for sexual assault survivors to show that film producer Harvey Weinstein was not an anomaly, that sexual assault has been normalized for far too long. The message spread not only across the U.S. but also internationally, and Weinstein is now just the first of many public figures charged with sexual assault in the past month whose careers have been irrevocably damaged.
The internet has become a crucial gateway for accessing information. Just look around Brody Café or wherever you’re reading this piece: People are writing papers, conducting research, reading articles, buying a new pair of shoes or watching TV, all through the internet. Whether it is education, business or entertainment, the internet has become a practical necessity for us to engage in society today. For our democracy and economy to function, it is paramount that people have equal access to the internet.
Silicon Valley and its affiliated companies are often associated with the progressive, the cutting edge, the delightful future in which technology unites us all as a global community with ready access to the joys of borderless capitalism. Indeed, the services some of the most well-known tech giants offer have made our lives — that of an upper class with disposable income — collectively easier.