Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
February 21, 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.



ALBERT BRIDGE / CC BY-SA 2.0
Agrawal argues that making cities more walkable will provide health and economic benefits, as well as revitalize communities.

Cities should be made more walkable and pedestrian-friendly

A city gets its personality from its people — likewise, people are heavily influenced by where they call home. In the complexity of modern life, we often forget about this simple, symbiotic relationship — what we give to our city is what we get. In this light, making cities more walkable and pedestrian-friendly gives back to a city that has already given us so much.


ARANTZA GARCIA / DESIGN AND LAYOUT EDITOR
The Editorial Board expresses their concerns about AI-powered “journalism” websites.

Journalistic theft is not a victimless crime.

In contrast to the careless mass production of content by AI, student journalists at The News-Letter devote much more time and effort to their work. Our staff spends hours attending events, conducting and transcribing interviews, and writing and polishing content, all while balancing school work. It is a slap in the face to have our work lazily swiped.


ARANTZA GARCIA / DESIGN AND LAYOUT EDITOR
The Editorial Board encourages Hopkins students to prioritize finding a hobby that brings them joy. 

Workaholics are out. Hobbies are in.

At a competitive school like Hopkins, students can often feel pressured into activities that improve their resumes and medical school applications at the expense of engaging in activities for leisure. Although you may claim that doing research, volunteering at a clinic or participating in a consulting club is a hobby, at the end of the day, you are probably doing it with the aim of advancing your career. We should find fulfillment outside of pursuits for academic or professional validation.


CHARLOTTE HYSEN / PUBLIC DOMAIN
Hsu contends that the attacks on Harvard President Claudine Gay that led to her resignation were launched by conservative actors targeting diversity in higher education. 

Don't fall for conservative attacks on higher education

The discourse following the ouster of Harvard University President Claudine Gay has been decidedly muddled by a variety of conflicting perspectives across the political spectrum. But the truth of the matter is not complicated at all — Gay was the target of a politically motivated attack launched by right-wing activists who openly proclaimed their goal to suppress diversity in higher education.


HARRISON KEELY / CC BY 4.0
Daum highlights the lack of adequate paid parental leave and childcare in the United States. 

Daycare and paid parental leave: America can do more

There is a dark side to American Exceptionalism, though: The U.S. is one of the worst countries for new parents, as maternity laws and daycare available are painfully far behind the rest of the developed world. This needs to change.


GAGE SKIDMORE / CC BY-SA 2.0
Koldas highlights Haley’s dependance on the bloc of Republican voters who dislike Trump. 

The Republican primaries show Haley’s only hope is anti-Trump groups

As the Republican primary and caucus results are starting to come in, confirmation of former president Donald Trump’s long-expected candidacy for the 2024 Presidential Election is getting even more inevitable. So far, only the results from Iowa and New Hampshire are in; however, they strongly demonstrate that Trump’s only major rival, Nikki Haley, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, has a slim chance of prevailing in the primaries — unless she manages to attract Trump’s detractors successfully.



Deepfake porn requires immediate action

Despite the ways in which AI proves itself useful, it also harbors the potential to be used for far more sinister purposes. Last week, deepfake pornography of Taylor Swift circulated online, sparking public discourse on the potential dangers posed by AI. A deepfake is defined as “an image or recording that has been convincingly altered and manipulated to misrepresent someone as doing or saying something that was not actually done or said.”


STEVEN SIMPSON / PHOTO EDITOR
The Editorial Board shares their 2023 Wrapped and reflects on the changes Hopkins has undergone this year. 

2023 wrapped: Has the University been listening?

As the end of semester approaches and we close out 2023, it is important to reflect back on the various shifts that have occurred in the University’s academic landscape. In our final editorial of the year, we review the pleasant surprises and disappointing setbacks we’ve seen from Hopkins in 2023.


LORIE SHAULL / CC BY-SA 2.0
Koldas highlights the difficulty with Biden’s re-election, including his age.  

It's too late to fix the Democratic Party's mistakes

Ever since President Joe Biden confirmed that he would be running for president in the 2024 elections to seek a second term in office, one question has unified the American population more successfully than any Thanksgiving dinner could have: Isn’t he too old to be the president?


KURT KAISER / CC0 1.0
Boppana calls for consumers to consider the impact of fast fashion on the environment.

Fast fashion is bad for the environment and your style

With fast fashion brands like Shein being so cheap, it is easy to convince ourselves that we should buy more clothes. Shein is amongst other fashion retailers, such as Temu and FashionNova, that are known for their cheap product prices and their frequent releases of new items. Despite the allure of fast fashion, it fosters a culture of clothing waste and overconsumption that is harmful to both the environment and individuals.




Hopkins must hold Dr. Darren Klugman accountable

The News-Letter believes that no one supporting hateful ideology against Palestinian people, or any people, should practice medicine. Regardless of our varying views on the Israel-Hamas war and the broader Israel-Palestine conflict, members of the Hopkins community should agree on this. We call on the institution to treat this matter with the gravity it necessitates and come to a just decision soon.


STEVEN SIMPSON / PHOTO EDITOR
The Editorial Board encourages you to make the most of your time at college, whatever that may look like for you.

Don’t just find your fit, make it

It’s officially that time of year. It’s college admissions season, and many high school students are whittling down their college lists and submitting applications. In the last decade, college admissions have only become more competitive, especially at top universities like Hopkins. The University’s acceptance rate has substantially decreased from 20.4% in 2010 to 7% in recent years. We’re here today because we beat the odds. But, what now?



ALEX LOZUPONE / CC BY-SA 4.0
Daum highlights the necessity for more affordable rent and housing costs in the U.S.

Rent is too damn high

In 2010, Jimmy McMillan founded the Rent Is Too Damn High Party and ran for governor of New York. The party’s platform was simple: a single-issue attack on rent prices in the bustling city. While the party (unfortunately) never achieved electoral success, its focus is still relevant to this day. Between 2000 and 2022, the median monthly rent price increased from $602 to $1,827, a staggering increase of over 300%.


ROSS KARCHNER / CC BY-SA 2.0
Daum argues that the recent election demonstrates that Democrats should emphasize their popular social policies to be more successful electorally. 

Abortion and weed: What Democrats can learn from 2023

Picture this: a middle-aged, conservative coal miner from central Kentucky. You would be right to predict with near certainty that he would vote reliably Republican. And yet, in the same state represented by such “popular” politicians as Mitch McConnell, the incumbent Democratic governor Andy Beshear was just reelected by a comfortable margin. Considering Beshear’s impressive victory, Democrats should be teed-up for a blue wave in 2024. Right?


Hopkins has a serious case of the blues — and mustaches

This November, we’re seeing more men around campus growing mustaches. While you might assume that the CVS Pharmacy on St. Paul Street has stopped stocking razors, it’s actually for Movember, an annual month-long push to raise awareness for men’s health issues — including prostate cancer, testicular cancer and suicide — by sporting mustaches.