Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
April 17, 2024

Editorial




DIGITS.CO.UK IMAGES / CC BY 2.0

Toto, we’re not in Miami anymore. We’re in misery.

If you spent your break checking Canvas from the beaches of Cancún or frantically writing papers from airport terminals, you are not the only one. Contrary to what the name might suggest, spring break doesn’t always feel like a break. Our academic responsibilities seldom pause for our vacations with friends or trips back home.


MOHAMED_HASSAN / PIXABAY LICENSE
The Editorial Board argues that the University should make efforts to reduce the cost of required academic resources for all students. 

Here’s some debt with your degree: College is too damn expensive

Hopkins is not insulated from the trend of rising college tuition and student debt. In the past decade, the cost of attendance at Hopkins, including tuition and living costs, has increased 10% more than the average increase at other U.S. colleges. Although the University states that it is committed to making every attempt possible to prevent students from taking on loans, many still graduate with substantial debt. The average debt among Hopkins undergraduates who have federal loans is $12,750. For the 6% of graduating seniors who borrow from private lenders, the average loan is an astounding $52,734.


Our 2024–2025 SGA Exec. Board endorsements: An election for the indecisive

If you haven’t noticed yet from the many posters around campus or the flurry of social media activity, it is officially time to elect our student government representatives for the next year. The Student Government Association (SGA) elections are set for March 11 and 12, and positions range from class senators to the Executive Board. Yet, we’re disappointed to see a relative lack of interest in the Executive Board positions. 



ET LAMBORGHINI / CC BY-SA 3.0
The Charm City Circulator is a free transit system that primarily runs through the “White L” of Baltimore.

Charm City needs to circulate more

If you’ve ever traveled from Homewood Campus to Fells Point, you’ll know how hard it can be to get to certain parts of Baltimore without shelling out money for an Uber. The Blue Jay Shuttle only offers rides within a limited radius, making it difficult to get to neighborhoods in East, West and South Baltimore. But, there’s an alternative to calling a shuttle or an Uber — Baltimore has a public transportation system. Why don’t we use it more often?


ARANTZA GARCIA / DESIGN AND LAYOUT EDITOR
The Editorial Board expresses their concerns about AI-powered “journalism” websites.

Journalistic theft is not a victimless crime.

In contrast to the careless mass production of content by AI, student journalists at The News-Letter devote much more time and effort to their work. Our staff spends hours attending events, conducting and transcribing interviews, and writing and polishing content, all while balancing school work. It is a slap in the face to have our work lazily swiped.


ARANTZA GARCIA / DESIGN AND LAYOUT EDITOR
The Editorial Board encourages Hopkins students to prioritize finding a hobby that brings them joy. 

Workaholics are out. Hobbies are in.

At a competitive school like Hopkins, students can often feel pressured into activities that improve their resumes and medical school applications at the expense of engaging in activities for leisure. Although you may claim that doing research, volunteering at a clinic or participating in a consulting club is a hobby, at the end of the day, you are probably doing it with the aim of advancing your career. We should find fulfillment outside of pursuits for academic or professional validation.


Deepfake porn requires immediate action

Despite the ways in which AI proves itself useful, it also harbors the potential to be used for far more sinister purposes. Last week, deepfake pornography of Taylor Swift circulated online, sparking public discourse on the potential dangers posed by AI. A deepfake is defined as “an image or recording that has been convincingly altered and manipulated to misrepresent someone as doing or saying something that was not actually done or said.”


STEVEN SIMPSON / PHOTO EDITOR
The Editorial Board shares their 2023 Wrapped and reflects on the changes Hopkins has undergone this year. 

2023 wrapped: Has the University been listening?

As the end of semester approaches and we close out 2023, it is important to reflect back on the various shifts that have occurred in the University’s academic landscape. In our final editorial of the year, we review the pleasant surprises and disappointing setbacks we’ve seen from Hopkins in 2023.


Hopkins must hold Dr. Darren Klugman accountable

The News-Letter believes that no one supporting hateful ideology against Palestinian people, or any people, should practice medicine. Regardless of our varying views on the Israel-Hamas war and the broader Israel-Palestine conflict, members of the Hopkins community should agree on this. We call on the institution to treat this matter with the gravity it necessitates and come to a just decision soon.


STEVEN SIMPSON / PHOTO EDITOR
The Editorial Board encourages you to make the most of your time at college, whatever that may look like for you.

Don’t just find your fit, make it

It’s officially that time of year. It’s college admissions season, and many high school students are whittling down their college lists and submitting applications. In the last decade, college admissions have only become more competitive, especially at top universities like Hopkins. The University’s acceptance rate has substantially decreased from 20.4% in 2010 to 7% in recent years. We’re here today because we beat the odds. But, what now?


Hopkins has a serious case of the blues — and mustaches

This November, we’re seeing more men around campus growing mustaches. While you might assume that the CVS Pharmacy on St. Paul Street has stopped stocking razors, it’s actually for Movember, an annual month-long push to raise awareness for men’s health issues — including prostate cancer, testicular cancer and suicide — by sporting mustaches.


COURTESY OF SPECIAL COLLECTIONS, JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY
The Editorial Board argues that the University must address student concerns regarding the MSE library’s closure and provide an adequate solution for students.

If you’re going to take all of our money, at least give us a library.

As we enter the last month of fall semester classes, students will inevitably hunker down in the library while they prepare for exams and frantically type out papers. Typically, The News-Letter reminds students to leave the library and enjoy the sunlight; we tell students to prioritize their mental health and take breaks from continuous studying. Although that still holds true, we would like to highlight the importance of the Milton S. Eisenhower (MSE) library to this campus and its students.


Reflecting on the role of The News-Letter in campus discourse

The News-Letter published an op-ed last week titled “The Israel-Hamas war is not too complicated for Hopkins students,” which took a pro-Israel stance on the conflict. Following its publication, The News-Letter and the article’s author received backlash for its lack of historical context on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.


MARK DIXON / CC BY 2.0 DEED
The Editorial Board hopes that the new School of Government and Policy will increase collaboration between STEM and the social sciences to bridge the gap between policy and research.

Politicians need to get behind the Petri dish

When we mention to people back home that we go to Hopkins, many of us are asked if we want to be doctors. While it is true that pre-med culture is prominent on campus and Hopkins is renowned for its medical institution, the University is strengthening its reputation of academic excellence in the social sciences.


MAARTEN COLLEN / CC BY 2.0
The Editorial Board warns readers to recognize when a celebrity obsession becomes unhealthy.

Proceed with caution: Parasocial relationships can be parasitic

If you’ve been following the news this week, you’ve likely seen Taylor Swift and Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce’s rumored relationship front and center. Following her appearance at his football game, fans have been analyzing short clips of the two interacting in an attempt to piece together the details of their relationship. Even senators are speculating on how well-matched the two are. 



KHEEL CENTER / CC BY 2.0
The Editorial Board encourages readers to shift their view of what a union looks like. 

Can’t bust this: Unions are here to stay

This summer has seen Hollywood production come to a screeching halt after the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and Screen Actors Guild went on strike in May and July, respectively. Although these strikes may no longer be making the front page, Drew Barrymore has brought them back to the public’s attention this week. Barrymore announced (and later rescinded) plans to renew production on her weekday talk show after previously declaring her support for WGA.


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