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It’s February, which means that many fraternities and sororities at Hopkins and at other colleges nationwide have just recruited their newest pledge class. To those new recruits, we extend our congratulations. Many students find a sense of community and lifelong friendships in the Greek organization to which they belong. But to those of you who’ve joined fraternities, we’d also like to express our concerns.
Last week, on the anniversary of the Parkland shooting, media outlets reflected on the strides in gun control that we’ve made as a result of the survivors’ movement. I want to add to the conversation by reflecting on what we can do better as we go forward.
I am not your Korean fetish.” That was the Tinder bio I wrote last summer, which came with some decent pictures of myself and a surprise painting of Judith slaying Holofernes. A not-so-subtle finger to the patriarchy.
Last week, Senator Antonio Hayes introduced a new bill in the Maryland General Assembly: the Community Safety and Strengthening Act. This bill, SB 793, and its correspondent in the Maryland House of Representatives, HB 1094, includes the University’s second bid for a private police force.
Next week, the Student Government Association (SGA) will hold an impeachment trial against Executive President Noh Mebrahtu behind closed doors. SGA members introduced articles of impeachment at their latest weekly meeting, but not before telling one of our reporters to leave the room. That same day, SGA sent an email advertising a Students Against Private Police rally with the subject line “ICE Protest Tomorrow!” And last semester, it had to pass a bill to stop members from using social media, texting, web surfing and shopping during meetings.
In high school I nursed wild ambitions of publishing a fantasy novel. The plot was muddy, but I knew my heroine. Her name was Elizia. She was a woman of color, and she spoke with all the outrageous, cringeworthy angst of a Brontë character. She was brave and intelligent and a born leader, a liberator of women and the poor who also dabbled with sorcery.
For centuries, the world’s oldest democracy has depended on a productive tension between two major parties. When the political pendulum in Washington swings from right to left and back again, the minority party knows that they will get another turn. Historically the ruling party likewise recognized that they would soon be in the minority, and this led to a government of restraint — one which prioritized stability and order over short-term policy victories. The two-party system enabled Americans across the political spectrum to trust that their representatives would act in good faith.
The first week of Black History Month is coming to a close. That same week has been a period of extreme, fluctuating weather in Baltimore: after days of snow and temperatures as low as six degrees Fahrenheit, we enjoyed sunny 70-degree weather on Tuesday.
As we begin Black History Month, it is an optimal time to reflect on the noble efforts of African Americans to gain legal and constitutional rights for minorities during the Civil Rights Movement. While considering the actions taken by the brave men and women of this community, it is important for us to note that the success of the movement was partially due to the influential work of students. From participating in walkouts and sit-ins to organizing and leading protests, young people helped to spearhead the Civil Rights Movement.
Black gay actor and activist Jussie Smollett told police that he was attacked on Jan. 29 by two men shouting racist and homophobic slurs. In a follow-up interview, Smollett said one of them also yelled, “This is MAGA [Make America Great Again] country.” On Monday, the Chicago Tribune reported that Smollett had received a letter a week before saying, “You will die black fag,” with “MAGA” written as the return address.
Last Friday, many of us received an email that Hopkins had purchased the building that currently houses the Newseum, a museum in Washington, D.C. that is dedicated to promoting freedom of speech. Located on Pennsylvania Avenue, the building is positioned at the heart of the nation’s capital and will primarily be used to centralize the University’s graduate programs, including the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).
“Ever to confess that you are bored means you have no inner resources.” This is a line in John Berryman’s “Dream Song 14” that I kept scrawling on pieces of scrap paper this past winter. My dad had once told me almost the exact same thing when I was seven, sitting in the back of the car and whining about how bored I was. Since then, I can’t remember a time I admitted to him that I was bored.
This weekend, hundreds of underclassmen will go through the process known as formal recruitment in the hopes of joining one of the five Panhellenic sororities at Hopkins. For many students across the country, Greek life is a crucial aspect of their college experience. It’s where they meet their closest friends, find personal and academic support and make professional connections. But for some, the actual recruitment process evokes none of those positive qualities.
As an exchange student brought up in Japan, it was a whole new idea that people can feel threatened by police officers. By taking sociology classes, participating in local volunteer activities and talking with minority students at Hopkins, I learned that people in Baltimore -- especially minorities -- regard police officers not as their protectors, but as potential threats because of their discriminatory, unjust policing.
In response to “Hopkins Hospital continues to undervalue the lives of its patients” published on Dec. 26:
When physicians take the Hippocratic Oath, they vow to do no harm and to uphold medical ethics to preserve the safety and well-being of patients in their care. Our institution is known as a leader of medical innovation, and yet it has consistently fallen short of that principle. Many of us attend Hopkins not only for the world class education it provides, but also for its prestigious status. But this reputation rests on a continued legacy of Hopkins undervaluing the lives of its patients.
The week before Thanksgiving, Michael Bloomberg donated $1.8 billion to Hopkins, the largest ever donation to an academic institution, for use in financial aid for qualified low and middle-income students. In accepting the donation, University President Ronald J. Daniels stated that the University wanted to “recruit more first-generation and low-income students and provide them with full access to every dimension of the Johns Hopkins experience.”
If you listened to Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro following his 2018 “re-election,” you would probably think Venezuela was a utopian country with strong democratic institutions or at least a country on the right track. Maduro triumphantly proclaimed a “heroic, beautiful, popular victory, forged in the struggle.” When asked about his autocratic tendencies, Maduro snapped back, asking “Do they really think that people here are so submissive that they would put up with a dictator?”
Over Thanksgiving break, former New York Mayor and Hopkins alumnus Michael Bloomberg announced that he would donate $1.8 billion to financial aid, specifically benefitting low and middle-income students. The donation will allow the University to be a loan-free and permanently need-blind school, and will help Hopkins recruit and support more low-income and first-generation students.
Michael Bloomberg’s $1.8 billion gift to Hopkins is unparalleled. Never in history has an individual made such a generous donation to an institution and for such a good cause.