Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
May 24, 2020

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.



THE PUBLIC EDITOR: Thank you, readers. You make The News-Letter worthwhile.

As I prepared to tread the path of Public Editor, I searched for signposts which would show me the way. I connected with other public editors, considering their ideas in the context of The News-Letter. I read journal articles about the ethics of the reader representative role and studies about how journalism’s audience shifted in the digital age. I pored over our past issues to understand the history underpinning the paper’s coverage of Hopkins students. 



GAGE SKIDMORE / CC BY-SA 2.0
Polkampally criticizies Trump's withdrawal of support from the WHO is wrong amid a pandemic. 

Trump’s decision to withhold funds from the WHO is dangerous

U.S. President Donald Trump announced a pause in funding to the World Health Organization (WHO) on April 14. As part of his daily press briefing, Trump emphasized the country’s “duty to insist on full accountability” and publicly asked for a review into the agency’s “mismanaging” of the pandemic. The United States is the largest single contributor to the WHO, and the withdrawal of Trump’s support will be a significant hit to its budget.


IWONA KELLIE / CC BY 2.0
Jiang argues that the U.S. tipping system exacerbates racial inequality.

Tipping in the U.S. is a civil rights issue

Jobs which were available for formerly enslaved workers were limited. As a result, many African-American workers were employed in menial jobs as servants, waiters or barbers. At that time, tipping was a phenomenon that hadn’t been democratized yet in America. Nonetheless, the white ruling class saw the tipping system as a way to perpetuate the racial hierarchy that slavery represented.


FILE PHOTO
Shua argues that, with uncertainty over when it will be safe to return to campus, Hopkins should adopt a quarter system.

Amid COVID-19, a quarter system makes the most sense

If I were sitting in Baltimore right now, and not hundreds of miles away, I would only have had the usual complaints about Hopkins. A quarter system is not something that students have been clamoring for. But what we are clamoring for is a return to campus. We want a return to normalcy. If a quarter system is more likely to get us there, then it’s worth exploring.


THE PUBLIC EDITOR: COVID-19 interrupted print production. When the paper returns, what changes?

Editors gathered on the Wednesday before spring break to put together a final print issue before The News-Letter shifted temporarily to online publication. Hopkins had announced the suspension of in-person activities through mid-April the night before due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), but editors were uncertain when they would be able to return to the Gatehouse, the home of the newspaper’s production.


College presidents must donate more to COVID-19 relief

Universities around the country are struggling with the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Yet, some college presidents and deans will continue to earn million dollar salaries even as they lay off struggling employees, and Hopkins is no exception.



COURTESY OF RUDY MALCOM
On Earth Day 1995, student groups Pugwash and SEA placed a time capsule outside MSE. 

After COVID-19, we must rethink how we fight climate change

Twenty-five years ago, Hopkins students buried a time capsule outside of the Milton S. Eisenhower Library to be opened on Earth Day 2020. In 1995, a student involved with the project hoped that those opening the vessel would reflect on how much progress had been made since 1970 and be inspired for the next 25 years of environmental action. 


PUBLIC DOMAIN
Media outlets have sought to hold Trump accountable for his response to COVID-19.

Opposing Viewpoints: How the media serves us in our time of need

When President Trump gives his daily press briefings with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Taskforce, my family is usually in the kitchen making dinner. Each day, we begrudgingly turn on my mom’s iPad, wait with dread for Trump to come to the podium and wonder if today will bring a reasonable message from Dr. Fauci, the President lambasting a reporter or another round of full-blown campaigning and propaganda.


PUBLIC DOMAIN
Media outlets have sought to hold Trump accountable for his response to COVID-19.

Opposing Viewpoints: How the media contributes to misinformation in crisis

With the increasing severity of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, people are absorbed in a constant state of fear, anxiety and stress. This crisis is novel, intense and deadly, and little is known about the virus or treatment methods. Aided by the internet and a primal fear of the unknown, rumors spread even faster than the virus can.


Why we endorsed Joe Biden

This election season, the College Democrats at Hopkins made a conscious decision to not endorse any of the presidential candidates prior to having a nominee. With such a divisive primary season — and an even more divided board — we hoped to afford students the opportunity to come to their own political decisions. 


TIM EVANSON/CC BY-SA 2.0
Wadsten urges the U.S. to transition to mail-in voting during the pandemic.

Mail-in voting is necessary during the pandemic

Since mid-March, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has significantly altered life for people around the U.S. and the world. These major disruptions have led to changes in the U.S. election calendar and process. The Democratic National Committee (DNC) has pushed their convention back until the week of August 17, and 16 states have postponed their primaries out of public health concern. 


THE PUBLIC EDITOR: "There's something more important"

When the current editors of The News-Letter went through election interviews last April, nobody asked them how they would adapt their roles to a global pandemic. A year ago, no one imagined life as we know it changing so drastically. 



GAGE SKIDMORE/CC BY-SA 2.0
Santoro urges Biden to support progressive policies during his presidential campaign.

Dear Joe Biden, earn my vote

Dear Joe,  Congratulations! You did it. Bernie is out, and you must be overjoyed to be in the position you’re in. The path to victory is clearer than ever, and it’ll be you and Trump (most likely) in November. Great. 


In quarantine, doing less is doing more

You’re sitting in front of your screen staring at YouTube. It is 3 a.m. on a Wednesday morning, a school day, or so you used to think. The images on the screen start to merge into a blur, and you cannot help but wonder how long it has been since quarantine started. Two weeks? Three weeks? You can’t be sure.


Political pragmatism no longer makes sense

Senator Bernie Sanders suspended his campaign for presidency on Wednesday, April 8, just under a week ago. Although the news seemed like it was bound to come eventually, the senator’s announcement still felt both sudden and monumental.


FILE PHOTO
Chanda suggests that Hopkins change aspects of its academic culture to reduce student anxiety.

How Hopkins should help reduce academic anxiety

With the current coronavirus shutdown, ongoing development initiatives of our Hopkins community have been considerably challenged. Despite these hardships, it is important that we don’t forget the vibrant campus we once enjoyed and the progress that still needs to be made to build an even stronger community at Hopkins. 


News-Letter Special Editions