News & Features


Marijuana possession will not be prosecuted in Md.

February 14, 2019

Baltimore’s State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby announced that she would no longer prosecute marijuana possession cases regardless of amount or past criminal charges on Jan. 29. Mosby also asked courts to vacate approximately 5,000 people convicted for ...


Hopkins History professor analyzes citizenship rights and race in Baltimore

February 15, 2019

The Milton S. Eisenhower Library (MSE) hosted Hopkins History Professor Martha S. Jones on Thursday, Feb. 7 for a talk on her most recent book Birthright Citizens: A History of Race and Rights in Antebellum America. The book focuses on the struggle of free African-American people in Baltimore from the late 18th century until the start of the American Civil War and the challenges they faced in obtaining citizenship rights.


Foreign Affairs Symposium's 2019 lineup most diverse in its history

February 14, 2019

The Foreign Affairs Symposium (FAS) announced on Monday that the theme of its spring 2019 lineup is “Disrupt.” The speakers include: Vice President of the National Association of Displaced Afro-Colombians Erlendy Cuero Bravo; Iranian-American writer Solmaz Sharif; Executive Director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons Beatrice Fihn; artist and activist Boots Riley; a panel on law and social movements; and Togolese activist Farida Nabourema.

COURTESY OF THE FOREIGN AFFAIRS SYMPOSIUM

Local journalists talk policing in Baltimore

February 15, 2019

Stephen Janis and Taya Graham, two journalists from The Real News Network (TRNN), discussed their WYPR podcast “Truth and Reconciliation” and policing in Baltimore on Wednesday in Charles Commons. The event was co-sponsored by the Digital Media Center (DMC), The News-Letter and WYPR.


Historian explores legacy of slavery in Baltimore

February 7, 2019

Anne Rubin, a history professor at the University of Baltimore, gave a lecture on early Baltimore at an event titled “Free Streets/Slave Streets: Visualizing the Landscape in Early Baltimore” on Feb. 6 at the Homewood Museum. During her presentation, Rubin used interactive maps to juxtapose the lives of enslaved and free blacks in the city. Rubin studies Civil War history and has earned acclaim for her work with digital archives.


COURTESY OF AKSHAY BHAMIDIPATI
Bhamidipati decided to choose a career in public service in November.

Hopkins senior to run for political office in Virginia

February 7, 2019

Akshay Bhamidipati, a senior majoring in Molecular and Cellular Biology, announced his campaign to run as a Democratic candidate for Virginia’s House of Delegates (87th District) on Jan. 28. Coming from a background in student government and medical research, Bhamidipati looks to make an impact at the local level with his grassroots campaign. 


Third anti-ICE protest draws largest turnout

February 12, 2019

Students and faculty joined Baltimore community members in protesting the University’s contracts with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) by walking out of class at 11 a.m. on Feb. 6. The event was organized by the Hopkins Coalition Against ICE, which includes a number of campus activist organizations such as Students Against Private Police (SAPP), #JHToo, Teachers and Researchers United (TRU) and Refuel our Future.

COURTESY OF STEPHANIE LEE

AGNOSTICPREACHERSKID / CC-BY-SA-3.0
The News-Letter explored how Hopkins community members have been affected by the government shutdown.

Faculty and students weigh in on the 35-day government shutdown

February 7, 2019

The United States government shut down from Dec. 22, 2018 to Jan. 25, 2019. At 35 days, the shutdown was the longest in U.S. history and was the result of a standoff between President Donald Trump and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. The conflict began because of Trump’s demand that Congress include a $5.7 billion budget for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border in government funding legislation. Non-essential employees were furloughed, while all others were expected to work without pay.


Event celebrates black victims and survivors of sexual violence

February 7, 2019

“Hear Our Stories: Celebrating Black Victim-Survivors,” an event focused on supporting black women and non-binary people affected by sexual violence, took place at The Motor House on Thursday, Jan. 31. The event was hosted by FORCE, a Baltimore nonprofit that aims to shift the narrative surrounding sexual violence through different forms of advocacy.

COURTESY OF TRISHA PARAYIL
Event attendees coined the term victim-survivor to promote inclusivity.

Using data to improve Baltimore neighborhoods

February 8, 2019

Cheryl Knott, the geographic information systems project manager of Baltimore Neighborhood Alliance (BNIA), gave a guest lecture during a class titled “Health and Wellbeing in Baltimore: A Public Health Perspective.” She discussed different factors affecting Baltimore’s community health, as well as the various data that can be used to assess it. 


Shriver Hall reopens after three semesters of renovations

February 7, 2019

After undergoing three semesters of renovations, Shriver Hall has been reopened to the Hopkins community. The renovation, which began during the fall of 2017, was slated to be completed by the beginning of spring 2018. University officials announced in February 2018, however, that the project would extend into the 2018-2019 academic year. 

EDA INCEKARA / PHOTOGRAPHY EDITOR
Many University students appreciated Shriver’s reopening this semester.

EDA INCEKARA / PHOTOGRAPHY EDITOR
The University makes its second attempt to authorize a private police force.

University continues to push private police legislation

February 8, 2019

A bill that would grant Hopkins the authority to establish its own police force was introduced to the Maryland General Assembly on Monday. Senator Antonio Hayes is the sponsor of the bill, Senate Bill (SB) 793, titled “the Community Safety and Strengthening Act.” 


Experts discuss declines in democracies

February 7, 2019

Michael Abramowitz, the president of Freedom House, sat down with Karen DeYoung of The Washington Post and Yascha Mounk, political scientist at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) Angora Institute, on Tuesday to discuss his organization’s recent report on the global state of democracy. The School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), the SNF Agora Institute and Freedom House hosted the event, titled “Freedom in the World 2019: Democracy in Retreat.” Elise Labott, former CNN foreign affairs reporter, moderated the talk.

COURTESY OF JAKE LEFKOVITZ
Panelist discussed the recently released Freedom in the World 2019 report.

Panelists discuss how to fund unpaid internships

February 7, 2019

The Career Center hosted a workshop titled, “How to Fund Your Internship” on Tuesday night. The panel consisted of directors from Internship Programs, the Office of Development, the Career Center, the Center for Social Concern and the Office of Student Financial Services. 


Students reflect on the start of Black History Month

February 7, 2019

In honor of Black History Month, the Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) hosted an opening ceremony at The LaB on Feb. 1. The ceremony featured poets Aja Monet, Dominique Christina and Mecca Verdell as the opening act. This was the first in a series of events that will be held throughout Hopkins during the month of February. 

COURTESY OF ANANTA SRIVASTAVA
The black history month opening ceremony included poetry readings.

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Environment Maryland data says Baltimore air pollution is among the top 10 worst in the nation.

Baltimore City Council passes bill to regulate trash incinerators

February 9, 2019

The Baltimore City Council voted to approve a bill that would require trash incinerators in the city to either abide by stricter environmental regulations or shut down on Monday, Feb. 4. After a two-month long process that started on Nov. 19, 2018, the Land Use and Transportation Committee voted unanimously on Jan. 30 to send the bill to the full City Council for approval. After the City Council passed the bill 12-1, a final vote remains and is to be held on Feb. 11.


SGA discusses private police, JHU-ICE relationship

February 7, 2019

The Student Government Association (SGA) listened to a presentation on public safety legislation by University officials and endorsed a walkout organized by the Hopkins Coalition Against ICE during their weekly meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 5. 


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Hopkins releases first draft of revised police bill

February 7, 2019

University officials released the first draft of a bill that would grant Hopkins the authority to establish its own police force on Wednesday. The News-Letter also independently obtained an earlier draft of the bill that same day. The draft is the first piece of proposed legislation released to the public since March 2018 and includes several revisions, such as the creation of an Accountability Board, an expanded definition of “campus area” and a timeline for implementing a police department. 


Rally for Immigrants’ Lives tackles JHU-ICE

January 31, 2019

Members of the Hopkins community gathered on Wednesday to listen to a panel about Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and its contracts with the University. The four panelists included an expert on migration, an organizer for CASA de Maryland, a volunteer with Sanctuary Streets of Baltimore, and Drew Daniel, the Hopkins English professor who organized a petition protesting the JHU-ICE contracts.


Students Against Private Police organized one of the largest campus protests just days after the University announced its intent to create a campus police force on March 8, 2018.

Eight questions with Students Against Private Police

February 7, 2019

Within hours of the University announcing its plan to create a private police force last March, several student activist groups organized to form Students Against Private Police (SAPP). Within days, SAPP had organized one of the largest protests on campus and marched to President Ronald J. Daniels’ house. By the end of the month, SAPP had lobbied legislators in Annapolis and circulated a petition which garnered over 2,300 signatures. This semester, they continue to coordinate efforts against the formation of a police force.