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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.
Since the University first announced its intent to create a private police force in March 2018, the Editorial Board has opposed the initiative. Now the bill – called the Community Safety and Strengthening Act – has passed in the Maryland General Assembly, and we maintain our opposition. We are disappointed that this bill is moving forward and we have the same concerns about a Hopkins police force that we have already expressed over the past year: a continuation of corrupt policing in Baltimore, potential racial profiling of students, the threat of armed guards on campus and further division between the Hopkins and Baltimore communities.
Each week, our editorial board explores the issues facing the Baltimore and Hopkins community and shares our stance on the ones we find most pressing. This week, we’re taking some time to look inwards and examine how The News-Letter can be a more representative newspaper.
Earlier this month, federal prosecutors charged dozens of wealthy parents for bribing or cheating their children’s ways into universities across the nation. Three days after the news of this college admissions scandal — now known as Operation Varsity Blues — broke, Hopkins welcomed 2,309 new applicants to its Class of 2023 at an acceptance rate of 7.7 percent, the lowest rate in the last few years.
This past year, the Student Government Association (SGA) has had both triumphs and tribulations. SGA members have campaigned for years for a student center, and this month they realized that goal when the University announced that one will be built by 2024. SGA also hosted its inaugural Mental Health Summit to address the lack of mental health resources on campus. Beginning in the fall, around 2,000 undergraduates responded to an SGA-led referendum on campus issues. These are some of SGA’s successes from the past year.
Having unparalleled access to research opportunities is not the only unique part of attending Hopkins. We also have several campus traditions like watching fireworks at Lighting of the Quads each December and celebrating the arrival of warm weather at Spring Fair, the largest student-run festival in the country. These things set Hopkins apart from other schools and make our time here memorable. Yet, since as long as we have known, another unique thing comes to mind about Hopkins: our lack of an official student center. We may have dedicated “student union” spaces in Levering Hall or the LaB, but unlike many other colleges and universities, we don’t have a singular building packed with social spaces and resources.
2018 was a historic year for visibility and diversity in film. Black Panther. Crazy Rich Asians. Roma. BlacKkKlansmen. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. These are just a few critically and commercially successful movies that broke barriers by making people of color big-screen superheroes, romantic male leads and defiant heroines.
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, 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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
The first Thanksgiving: a peaceful celebration in 1621, where Pilgrims and indigenous people sat side by side sharing food.