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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.
When the Office of Institutional Equity (OIE) issued its first annual report on sexual misconduct at Hopkins last year, we were upset but not surprised by the findings. The report indicated that there was a lack of awareness among students around OIE’s services, a doubling in sexual misconduct reports from 2016 to 2017 and a majority of cases taking eight months or longer to investigate.
On Monday, Sept. 30, The Diamondback — the University of Maryland’s independent, student-run newspaper — announced that it would exclusively publish content online starting in March 2020. The decision to discontinue The Diamondback’s print publications comes 110 years after the paper was first founded and just 47 years after it became financially independent in 1971.
This Tuesday, Oct. 1, the Student Government Association (SGA) met for the first time in three weeks. This marked only the third meeting of the academic year. The previous two meetings, scheduled for Sept. 17 and 24, were cancelled.
It’s not election month. It’s not even an election year. And yet, we want to take the time to remind our fellow students of the most important civic duty granted to us: voting for what we believe in.
Hopkins prides itself on offering students the opportunity to pursue their passions, whatever they may be. On campus tours, guides promise prospective students that it is easy to join student groups or start their own clubs and organizations. The Campus Life page on the University’s website depicts Hopkins as a place where students can pursue their diverse backgrounds and interests, whether they’re into “singing or kayaking, taking pictures or building robots, discussing international relations or playing Quidditch.”
When the University announced its intention to create a private police force in March 2018, it failed to consult Hopkins affiliates and community members. After the announcement met with widespread backlash and Maryland legislators postponed voting on the bill, administrators promised to do a better job of consulting students and Baltimore residents.
The start of a new school year typically brings several changes to campus. This year, however, marks the beginning of some particularly dramatic changes. Most notably, while a student center will not be around for years to come, we are finally in the beginning stages of designing one. And despite widespread pushback from students and communities, the University will begin implementing a private police force.
Last Thursday, Woodrow Wilson fellows presented a culmination of their four years of research.
In January, the Black Student Union (BSU) at the Peabody Institute filed a complaint with the Office of Institutional Equity against its Student Affairs office, expressing concerns about racial discrimination against black students.
Writing about work culture at Hopkins is tricky. We acknowledge that we are extremely privileged to be able to attend college, surrounded by scholars who are the very best in their field and peers who are already accomplishing so much. We are grateful to pursue our higher education in Baltimore, at one of the nation’s top institutions. And yet, as finals approach, and Brody remains full, many of us are burnt out.