Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
May 20, 2024

Opinion

The opinions presented below are solely the views of the author and do not represent the views of The News-Letter. If you are a member of the Hopkins community looking to submit a piece or a letter to the editor, please email opinions@jhunewsletter.com.



Ignorance is not an excuse for hate

On Monday, April 29, the Beach became the site of a Palestine Solidarity Encampment, one of many on campuses across the nation. The encampment concerns many Hopkins students — the Jewish community included. While the Hopkins Jewish community possesses a variety of opinions regarding the Israel-Hamas war, we are committed to promoting peace, security and healing for all affected by this tragic war. But irrespective of the conflict, it is unacceptable to risk the safety and security of students. The hatred espoused within the encampment puts every Hopkins student at risk.


Student reproductive justice organizations denounce commencement pick

We, Johns Hopkins student organizations advocating for reproductive justice, condemn the University’s choice of Mitt Romney as the 2024 commencement speaker. In particular, we are calling attention to Senator Romney’s damaging views on reproductive health which disproportionately affect marginalized communities. 


The indispensable role of journalism on college campuses

As the school year draws to a close, The News-Letter is reflecting on the successes and challenges of this year and our role in the Hopkins community. It is a unique time to be working for a college newspaper. As editors of The News-Letter, watching breaking news notifications about our peer institutions roll in makes us wonder: What is the role of a university newspaper? Are we even making an impact? What can we do better? 


We can all learn from South Korea’s 4B movement

Bihon, bichulsan, biyeonae, bisekseu: no marriage, childbirth, romance or sex with men. It is so simple and nonviolent that one may wonder why this wasn’t a popular movement earlier. Women no longer need to deal with abuse or the fear of it when breaking up with men if they never get into a relationship in the first place. They no longer feel the need to have children or have sex due to societal and male pressure once they decenter men in their lives. 


SOLENFEYISSA / PIXABAY LICENSE 
Swaminathan argues that the bill in Congress aimed at regulating TikTok does not fully address the national security concerns associated with technology. 

Congress should pass the TikTok bill, but the problems are more pervasive

TikTok is a clear national security threat. With over 170 million American users, TikTok’s Chinese ownership and ability to collect, store and possibly even share data raises serious national security concerns. Last month, the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a bipartisan bill calling for TikTok to divest from its Chinese ownership or face a ban in the U.S. While the bill should be passed, it is an incomprehensive step in the right direction; TikTok is only a part of more pervasive problems in our media landscape and culture.


ICON0 COM / PEXELS LICENSE
Wang argues that annotating while reading has many benefits for the reader’s comprehension and critical thinking. 

Why you should annotate your books

One of the most daunting burdens faced by Hopkins students is the grueling task of reading an endless flow of papers, articles and documents. It is an arduous task that is ignored by some and reluctantly performed by others. But there is a way to easily harvest the valuable knowledge within these texts through the concept of active reading.


Baltimore is not your playpen, Hopkins: Watch where you expand

You might think that you’ve left Hopkins territory by walking a few blocks away from campus, but as the navy signage follows you, one thing is clear: The Hopkins bubble extends much farther than initially meets the eye. Recently, The News-Letter’s News & Features team launched an investigation into the University’s land and real estate holdings, both around Charles Village as well as the wider Baltimore area. After assessing its holdings, our Editorial Board is left with questions regarding the University’s intentions and its relationship with the Baltimore community. 


ARANTZA GARCIA /  DESIGN AND LAYOUT EDITOR
The Editorial Board argues that Hopkins must do more to support women on campus. 

Hopkins must uplift women, not just graduate them

This past Alumni Weekend, members of the first full class of female undergraduates were welcomed back to Hopkins to commemorate 50 years since their graduation. Since then, we’ve come a long way on making progress toward gender equity in academics, athletics and campus culture.



GAGE SKIDMORE / CC-BY-SA 2.0 
Mahto argues that Romney will offer students a perspective on politics that they may otherwise disregard.

Mitt Romney is an acceptable commencement speaker

In the days since Mitt Romney was announced as the University’s 2024 commencement speaker, students on campus have expressed their disapproval of the University’s choice of such a polarizing political figure. Are not all political figures polarizing, though? As a leftist, I couldn’t disagree more with Romney’s politics. Yet, Romney is not a bad person. Romney is simply a man who holds different political opinions to myself and other left-leaning college students. I believe Romney should speak at the commencement, and his polarizing presence could even be valuable to our community.


BRYANCALABRO / CC BY-SA 3.0
Min argues that parental consent laws for minors to access contraception and abortion infringe on minors' bodily autonomy. 

We should always be able to choose — especially for our own bodies

Minors are restricted from receiving contraceptives, abortions and other types of reproductive health care from their primary physicians without parental consent in many states. Yet, 44% of women who use birth control pills (BCP) are girls aged 15 to 19, outnumbering women aged 35 and over. Anyone seeking medical care has the right to receive the medication they want for their personal medical conditions. Minors seeking contraceptives should not be excluded from this medication and their access should be legally protected.



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.


MARTIN VOREL / CC 4.0
Mahto argues that the value of the humanities is under-emphasized at universities in comparison with STEM. 

The humanities are being neglected in American universities

The notion that the humanities are inherently less valuable than STEM has pushed students away from studying societally important subjects. While a sizable number of students continue to study the humanities, the number of humanities degrees awarded drops every year, dropping nearly 25% from 2012 to 2020. This decline of the humanities could deeply hurt academia and society as a whole.


COTTONBRO STUDIO / PEXELS LICENSE
Madruga highlights that the TikTok trend of cycling through aesthetics has contributed to over-consumption and fast-fashion. 

You’re not a “mob wife” or a “clean girl” — you’re a victim of capitalism

Another day, another TikTok trend. Yesterday it was the “clean girl” aesthetic, and today it’s “mob wife.” What do these things have in common? They’re both ploys to get impressionable young girls to buy into a new trend. This makes these girls a cog in the capitalist machine — it makes rich influencers richer, rather than giving girls the space to carve out their own lifestyle and sense of fashion.


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. 


SUZY HAZELWOOD / PEXELS LICENSE
Min argues that modern literature is preoccupied with trends that minimize the value that can be gained from reading substantial books — like the classics.  

How social media has “fast fashion-ized” the publishing industry

There are reasons why we’ve all read the classics in high school that seem to get annually recycled in English curriculums nationwide. Timeless themes of human compassion and conflict, dynamic character development and carefully crafted motifs remain a source of inspiration and recurring analysis for readers. Yet, these key components vital to what we call truly “classic” literature are dwindling in the modern publishing industry, where rising consumerism and mass production are leading to the imminent decline of the creation of future classics. 


JOE RAVI / CC BY-SA 3.0
Koldas argues that Colorado and other states cannot remove Trump from the ballot due to the potential electoral issues and disparities between states that it may cause. 

Colorado can’t (and shouldn’t) remove Trump from their ballot

When Colorado and Maine made the decision to remove former President Donald Trump from their ballots back in December 2023, and based their decision on Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, I was surprised to see concrete action taken on disqualifying him from the elections. I thought responses to Trump’s presidential candidacy wouldn’t go further than complaining and criticizing his past actions.


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