Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
April 14, 2024

Magazine



COURTESY OF LAURA WADSTEN
Wadsten looks back at her college experience and her time with The News-Letter.

Gratitude for the unexpected

It’s hard to believe I’m currently writing my last article for The News-Letter ever. Though I have yet to walk across the stage at Commencement, this feels more like my true Hopkins finale. Yet this closing act of my studenthood hardly feels bittersweet. I can’t keep the corners of my mouth from turning up with gratitude while my fingers tap out reflections on the keyboard.


COURTESY OF LEELA GEBO
In a letter to her freshman self, Gebo reflects on the memorable experiences that have made up her college experience.

Letter to my freshman self

Dear freshman Leela, Four years ago, there was so much unknown. When I think of you (us?) standing on the stoop in Brooklyn, surrounded by all your earthly possessions, waiting for Dad to pull the car around to drive to Baltimore for orientation, I wish I could give you a hug.


COURTESY OF SOPHIA PARK
Park examines how her experiences with homesickness have changed throughout her time at Hopkins.

Changing my idea of homesickness

“You are like a ball of constant stress.” I remember this line spoken to me during the beginning of my freshman year. At the time, I was still a Peabody Institute voice student, and I was in one of my earliest studio lessons. While nervously singing an art song learned hastily the night before, my legs kept shaking and my head could not keep still.


COURTESY OF ISABEL VELOSO
Veloso shares what inspired her to start @jhufreestuff and what the future holds for the account.

Being @jhufreestuff

At this point, it’s not really a secret anymore, but, for those who don’t know, my name is Isabel, and I started @jhufreestuff on Instagram. To be honest, part of the reason I wanted to write this article was because of the theatrics (not surprising if you follow the account). The other reason was that I wanted a chance to reflect on what it’s been like to run this account for almost four years, which I can’t really do in one “face reveal” post on my Instagram story.



COURTESY OF ELLIE ROSE MATTOON
Mattoon reflects on how starting her college experience virtually affected the way she formed important relationships.

My virtual beginnings and physical endings at Hopkins

As someone who started at Hopkins in the fall of 2020, many of my “college firsts” were virtual. It’s hard to define when exactly my college experience became “normal.” It could have been in my first in-person class sophomore year or the first show I was able to perform without wearing a mask.



COURTESY OF MICHELLE LIMPE
Limpe discusses the home the Gatehouse has provided to her over the past four years.

A farewell to the Gatehome

Believe it or not, one of the hardest goodbyes I’ve had to make at Hopkins was to a building — the Gatehouse to be exact. The grayish-green building, worn down yet exquisite in its architecture, that remains unknown to most of Hopkins represents much more than a corner of campus: it houses the institution of The News-Letter, an organization that I have dedicated my entire Hopkins career to.


COURTESY OF ALIZA LI
Speak Out Now advocates for a working-class revolution against capitalism.

Speak Out Now: In Baltimore and beyond

Speak Out Now is a socialist group that advocates for active participation in ending capitalism through revolution. According to their website, a socialist system means the “common ownership and sharing of the world’s resources and productive capacity under the democratic control of the world’s peoples,” rather than the exploitation of labor and the ownership of profit by a small number of capitalists.


COURTESY OF GHASSAN
SJP hosts both educational events and protests advocating for Palestinian liberation.

The hidden parts of political activism: A look into Hopkins Students for Justice in Palestine

People notice the flashy moments of activism the most: the massive protests, the inspiring speeches and the ratified legislation. Activism is much more than that. Sometimes activism grows through spontaneous spurts of growth, and other times, its roots take time to spread. It's kept alive through the cultivation of continuity through tough moments of growth and active moments of flourishing.


COURTESY OF JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY SHERIDAN LIBRARIES
Students erected shanties on Wyman Quad in protest against apartheid in South Africa.

The 1986 Coalition for a Free South Africa

In June 1976, roughly 10,000 students in Soweto, South Africa organized a peaceful protest against new legislation decreeing that Afrikaans, alongside English, be used in Soweto high schools. Afrikaans was known as the “language of the oppressor” in apartheid South Africa. Upon their peaceful march toward Orlando Stadium, the protesters were met with heavily armed police. 


From 1970 to today: The intersectional experiences of women at Hopkins

“When we first came here, many of us found that we were not entirely welcome. A great number of men came to Johns Hopkins not wholly receptive to the addition of undergraduate women. There were those who resented the intrusion of women into their male sanctuary; there were those who considered women incapable of surviving academic pressures; and there were those who feared women would be equal competitors. In many instances we felt unusually isolated from the rest of the community.” 



COURTESY OF JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY SHERIDAN LIBRARIES
Students carry signs and banners at an anti-Vietnam War rally on Homewood Campus.

Anti-Vietnam War protests at Hopkins

More than 200 students and demonstrators surrounded Homewood House (now known as Homewood Museum) in protest of military recruiting on campus on April 17, 1970. The protest occurred following the events on April 16, where 40 activists blocked the entrance to Levering Hall to protest the U.S. Marine Corps recruiters inside.


COURTESY OF RUDY MALCOM
Refuel Our Future has led the call for the University’s divestment from fossil fuel companies.

The push for greener universities

Divestment has been a demand leveraged by student activists to fight several social issues, including apartheid in South Africa and the unethical practices of tobacco manufacturers. For a little over a decade, student activists have found a new cause around which to mobilize and demand divestment: climate change.


COURTESY OF TRU-UE
Founded in 2014, TRU-UE seeks to improve working conditions for graduate students.

An overview of graduate student activism at Hopkins

Affiliated with United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE), the University’s graduate student union Teachers and Researchers United (TRU-UE) officially won recognition through a union representation election facilitated by the National Labor Relations Board in January 2023.


COURTESY OF JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY SHERIDAN LIBRARIES
Student activism at Hopkins has a long and storied past.

The history of student activism at Hopkins and nationwide

At the very core of society’s progress, activism has always been integral to sparking change. From macroscopic protests advocating for women’s rights to smaller movements concerning local issues, the freedom to assemble is ingrained in the very founding of the United States.


COURTESY OF ELLON MUSQUE
Elon Musk has made several demands to the University in order to be the 2023 commencement speaker.

BREAKING: University announces Elon Musk as 2023 commencement speaker

APRIL FOOLS’: This article was published as part of The News-Letter’s annual April Fools’ Day edition, an attempt at adding some humor to a newspaper that is normally very serious in its reporting. In a recent broadcast email, Hopkins announced that this year’s commencement speaker for the Class of 2023 would be American business magnate Elon Musk. The announcement was later confirmed in a cryptic tweet from Musk himself.


COURTESY OF MR. WISE-OWL
Mr. Wise-Owl was recently elected into the position of the Hopkins PETA chapter President.

Hopkins PETA chapter officially announces a barn owl as next year’s president

As a shocking demonstration of animal rights, the Hopkins People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) chapter has officially named their current mascot, Wise-Owl, as next year’s chapter president. Wise-Owl officially joined the chapter as a representative of the North American barn owl population throughout PETA’s protests last fall. 


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