Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
September 23, 2020

Editorial



Is Hopkins supporting its growing FLI and international student population?

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, the transition to college life was difficult. For first-generation, limited-income (FLI) students and international students, however, that transition can be even more complex. The University has made commendable efforts to provide additional support. We question, however, whether it has done enough. 


Elijah Cummings embraced country over party. Throughout the impeachment process, Congress must do the same.

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.” 



Hopkins has released this year’s statistics on sexual misconduct. How have they changed since last year?

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. 


Does print journalism have a future?

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. 




Hopkins must do more to support its student groups

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.” 



How will Hopkins implement changes without consistent leadership?

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. 


When will the University rename the Woodrow Wilson Fellowship?

Last Thursday, Woodrow Wilson fellows presented a culmination of their four years of research. The prestigious fellowship, which provides selected applicants up to $10,000 over four years, has given students valuable opportunities to pursue independent research. Yet the fellowship’s namesake concerns us. Woodrow Wilson — a Hopkins alum and the 28th president of the U.S. — was also a proud white supremacist. 



Burnt out? Us too.

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. 


Can activists and the University reach a middle ground on the private police force?

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.


Becoming a more representative student newspaper

Each week, our editorial board takes time to look at the issues facing Baltimore and the Hopkins community and share our stance on the ones we find most pressing. This week, we’re looking inwards to examine how The News-Letter can be a more representative newspaper. 


Ensuring that our university is accessible to low-income applicants

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. 


Our SGA executive election endorsements

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.


This year's Oscars, and why the stories we tell and celebrate matter

Some people might dismiss the importance of the Oscars, criticizing the Academy members for not only being predominantly white, but also superficial and elitist —  for nominating films touted by critics and professionals rather than those that everyday people know and love. But despite the faults we may find in the Oscars, they still matter. The awards influence our own opinions on which films are worth seeing, on the films and filmmakers that we choose to support. They determine who we look up to and which stories are deemed culturally significant to our society at the time. 


Sexual assault, hazing, death: Is this the cost of brotherhood?

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. 


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