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Like we did two years ago for the presidential election, many of us headed to the polls, mailed in absentee ballots and attended watch parties for the 2018 midterm elections on Tuesday. Exercising our right to vote and participating in our country’s politics is one of our most valued responsibilities. Yet, midterm elections rarely draw the number of voters that presidential elections do. In 2014, voter turnout hit a historic low at 36.4 percent in comparison to 53.7 percent in 2012 and 58 percent in 2016.
Many of us are reeling from the recent surge of violence we’ve witnessed over the past weeks. On Saturday, a man shot and killed 11 people at a synagogue in Pittsburgh. On the Wednesday before that, a gunman in Kentucky attempted to break into a black church and then proceeded to kill two black people, Maurice E. Stallard and Vickie Lee Jones, at a nearby supermarket. And last week, a man sent pipe bombs to the offices and homes of several politicians and journalists.
In their efforts to inform the public, journalists often put their lives on the line and this past year has been particularly dangerous. A few weeks ago, Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi was tortured, dismembered and killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul after advocating for free expression in the Arab world in The Washington Post. U.S. President Donald Trump has meanwhile been reluctant to hold the Saudi government accountable in Khashoggi’s death.
After University officials failed to pass legislation that would have enabled them to create a private police force last semester, they announced that they would spend the next several months gathering student and community input to revise the bill.
Indigenous students at Hopkins have worked tirelessly for the past two years to establish a stronger presence on campus and honor their heritage. In 2016, many indigenous students joined a burgeoning nationwide movement to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day. In 2017, the group Indigenous Students at Hopkins (ISH) formed under the Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA).
In an effort to be more transparent about how it handles sexual misconduct at Hopkins, the Office of Institutional Equity (OIE) published its first annual report on Tuesday.
Recently, three women have accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault. We’ve been watching his appointment hearings with anticipation.
University officials surprised students on March 5 when they announced support for a bill that would enable the creation of a private police force for Hopkins. Though some students supported the initiative, the bill angered and confused many students. The University had provided few specifics as to the nature of the police force, and had failed to collect student input prior to the announcement.
After only one student ran for Senior Class Council during Spring 2018, the Committee on Student Elections (CSE) held a special election this fall for five open seats, doing away with the usual petition process. Nine candidates ran; voting took place last week and election results were announced this Monday.
After falling to number 11 last year, Hopkins has reclaimed its number ten spot in the 2019 U.S. News & World Report National University Rankings. Being a top ten school is something our University holds in high regard, publishing it proudly on The Hub and delivering the news to every student’s inbox. It is even listed as the fourth goal in University President Ronald J. Daniels’ Ten by Twenty plan.
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.