Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
February 25, 2021

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.




U.S. SECRETARY OF DEFENSE/CC BY 2.0
Felix argues that equitable vaccine distribution must be implemented worldwide.

Morally and practically, we need equitable vaccine distribution

The pandemic has led to a global reckoning, testing not only the strength of government institutions and leaders but also the very definition of human worth. In a race against mutations and transmission, world leaders are attempting to accomplish mass vaccinations, hoping that the scale of distribution will encompass the entire planet.



COURTESY OF SHOURYA ARASHANAPALLI

All talk and no action: It’s time to get rid of our racist namesakes

Last July, the University launched several initiatives following the nationwide protests that took place after the deaths of George Floyd, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and countless others. To address the University’s own role in structural racism, Hopkins created the Committee to Establish Principles on Naming, given the lives and legacies of many of our buildings’ namesakes. 


COURTESY OF RUDY MALCOM
Phillip Yoon discusses how perspectives of tragedy are different for everyone during the pandemic.

Nietzsche and COVID-19: We’re all struggling in our own way

Commencement is now officially confirmed to be online. Although there is a possibility that the modality will change, it seems unlikely given the current severity of COVID-19. The virus has taken away many of our college experiences, but the one I’ll miss the most is being able to walk on stage at graduation in front of my friends, parents and professors. 



COURTESY OF SHOURYA ARASHANAPALLI

Graduate students need financial support. Hopkins can afford it.

For years, members of the Teachers and Researchers United (TRU), a graduate student organization, have called on the University to recognize them as an official union. Since the start of the pandemic, the need for this has become increasingly clear. Over the past 11 months, the University has failed to adequately support its graduate students, despite their crucial role in our institution’s functioning. 


COURTESY OF SHOURYA ARASHANAPALLI

Partying during a pandemic? Not worth it.

Yesterday the University announced that a cluster of students tested positive for COVID-19 in relation to off-campus social gatherings. Until this point, there were relatively few cases among undergraduates. The day after some students had their first day of in-person classes in nearly a year, they were forced back online. 




We must call out antisemitism at Hopkins

On Tuesday, University President Ronald J. Daniels and Provost Sunil Kumar emailed the Hopkins community that swastika graffiti had been found in a dormitory elevator at the Peabody Institute. The University condemned this act of antisemitism, which has been officially labeled as a hate crime. It is being investigated by the Office of Institutional Equity (OIE) and the federal government. 


Letter to the Editor 01/09/2021

As faculty affiliated with the Jewish Studies Program at Hopkins, we are deeply troubled by reports that a Hopkins teaching assistant spoke of penalizing students in her class on the basis of their identity and background — even for displaying an image of a street sign in Tel Aviv. 



PUBLIC DOMAIN
As vaccines for COVID-19 begin to roll out, Kasamoto and Abdel-Azim argue for Hopkins to mandate the shot for affiliates while Tie favors voluntary vaccination. 

Opposing Viewpoints: Mandating the COVID-19 vaccine at Hopkins will protect the freedom of high-risk individuals

This year has been life-changing for every one of us. From lost loved ones to financial hardships to missed opportunities, we can all agree that this was not what we imagined when Hopkins sent us home last March. However, with the authorization of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and Moderna and many others on the horizon, normal life seems to be within reach — if and only if we as a society decide to take this vaccine. For this and for many other reasons, Hopkins should mandate the COVID-19 vaccine when it is available for us to take it.


FILE PHOTO
The University and some non-Black students’ response to news that Johns Hopkins was a slaveowner prove they don’t truly value Black people. 

When it comes to slavery, the truth won’t set you free

The news that the founder of your centuries-old research university has an unsavory past, while not surprising, does warrant some sober reflection and a plan to move forward. A name change will never fly. The immense legacy-building done over the past 250 years (and especially the newfound pandemic clout) will never be sacrificed for the sake of Black people.


BURST / PUBLIC DOMAIN
Tie argues that professors can encourage academic honesty during virtual finals by embracing project-based assessments.

Academic integrity at Zoom University: Stricter measures are not the answer

Like all prestigious universities, Hopkins places a great degree of emphasis on academic integrity. The Undergraduate Academic Ethics Board oversees concerns of academic dishonesty, and the University uses the Respondus browser, which locks down the testing environment within a designated academic system like Blackboard. 




CHARLES DELUVIO / UNPLASH
Felix assesses the 2020 election, arguing that the rationales of Trump supporters are more complex than most Biden supporters.

Diagnosing the psychological factors at play in the 2020 election

The polarization of the 2020 presidential election felt inescapable. The “ride or die” individuals in each party didn’t just differ in political beliefs but seemed to experience different realities. Hinting at this polarization, 56% of registered democrats stated their support for President-elect Joe Biden stemmed from their aversion to President Donald Trump.


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