Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
September 21, 2021

Editorial



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. 



To effect long-term change, SGA should focus on realistic initiatives

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. 


In the fight against climate change, remember its effects on minorities

Although people of color and those who live in low-income communities generally have the lowest carbon footprint, they often live in areas with the worst air quality and are most susceptible to flooding or other weather hazards. Meanwhile, those of us who have done the most to aggravate climate change – higher-income individuals, mega-corporations and business magnates – have the resources to avoid the consequences of our actions. 


As Hopkins expands into D.C., what does that mean for Baltimore?

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).


Hopkins Hospital continues to undervalue the lives of its patients

When Johns Hopkins established the Johns Hopkins Hospital in 1889, he sought to provide quality healthcare and serve as an invaluable resource to the surrounding community. Yet recent reports on the conditions at the Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Fla. and the Johns Hopkins Hospital in East Baltimore illustrate an appalling failure to carry on our founder’s mission.



This Thanksgiving, being grateful in the midst of tragedy

As the Editorial Board, we usually dedicate each week to holding people in power accountable, to mourning lives lost, to demanding change. But as Thanksgiving approaches, we also want to reflect on what we have to be grateful for — on the strides we’ve made not only in our country, but also in this city that we love and at our University.




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