Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
May 28, 2023


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

As wildfires rage on the West Coast, Tie notes that we must remember that Trump isn't the sole culprit of climate change. 

Climate change is a battle against no one and everyone

The recent California wildfire shook the nation as flames redden the sky; record-breaking tropical storms have damaged countless properties and impacted the lives of thousands; temperatures have steadily risen. There is no doubt climate change is wreaking increasing amounts of havoc on the world every day despite denial and conspiracy theories. 

Hopkins must do more to honor Indigenous peoples

Hopkins celebrated Indigenous Peoples’ Day on Monday, marking the third time that the University has recognized the holiday. The Office of Multicultural Affairs and Indigenous Students at Hopkins (ISH) led the celebrations, including a virtual pow wow. ISH shared dances by Indigenous peoples from all over the Americas on social media. 

Biases in facial recognition tools could lead to false accusations and arrests.

Facial recognition technology isn't ready for police use

Last month I discussed how some nightmares of tech-noir films are becoming reality. As an advocate for artificial intelligence (AI), my last intention is to stoke unreasonable fear over new technologies. Unfortunately, I feel I have to sound the alarm again. 

Vote for Joe Biden

There are 26 days until the presidential election. Voter registration deadlines have already passed in 10 states, and the stakes have never been higher — American voters are being asked to choose who will implement the nation’s long-term response to COVID-19. 

Many Americans face undue burden when it comes to voting.

Voter suppression threatens our democracy. Cast your ballot for those who can't.

I couldn’t shake the feeling of utmost distress as I scrolled through photos of “Trump 2020” flags waving in front of my early voting location, the Fairfax County Government Center in Virginia. Trump supporters had gathered only 100 feet away from the building and were chanting “four more years” as voters made their way into the polling center.  

GAGE SKIDMORE/CC BY SA-2.0 / graphic by Lakshay Sood
Trump’s antics failed to impress voters, handing an average-performing Biden the win. 

In Tuesday’s debate Trump lost, but Biden didn’t necessarily win

Presidential debates are a valued political tradition dating back to 1960, when Senator John F. Kennedy debated Vice President Richard Nixon. When most traditions seem to be fading away, and political campaigning is turning into a series of Zoom fundraisers, holding a debate in a somewhat usual manner was a chance for the American people to feel like their country and its political institutions were still functioning. It was a chance to feel normal.

Trump doesn’t pay his fair share of taxes. Neither does Hopkins.

This week, the New York Times reported that President Donald Trump had paid only $750 in federal income taxes in 2016 and 2017. The report further shows that Trump did not pay federal income taxes at all for 10 out of 15 years since 2000. In Tuesday’s presidential debate, Trump called the story fake news, claiming that he had actually paid “millions of dollars” in taxes. 

Another Trump appointment to the Supreme Court could bring the end of democracy as we know it.

The Supreme Court isn't safe, and neither is America

As a Chinese citizen, I cannot vote in the U.S. I am currently in a quarantine hotel in Guangzhou, on the other side of the planet. Yet I have been thinking almost obsessively about the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and why this event has devastated and terrified me.  

Breonna Taylor did not get the justice she deserved

Yesterday, a grand jury in Louisville, Ky. failed to bring justice for Breonna Taylor. Only one of the three officers involved in her death was indicted for first-degree wanton endangerment charges. Not a single officer was actually charged for her death.  

Students must vote like our rights depend on it

It’s been an exhausting year and election cycle, and it’s not even close to over. Last week, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg — a pioneer for gender equality and symbol of perseverance — passed away after a long fight against cancer.  

Pre-health students should learn from the legacy of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

What Justice Ginsburg's legacy means to pre-meds

On Sept. 18 of an already disastrous 2020, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away due to metastatic pancreatic cancer. As much as we may have wanted her to, she could not live forever. Nevertheless, her legacy is one that moved the needle toward equality for all in our nation. This is reason enough for everyone in the U.S. to take some time to mourn and reflect on the life she led.  

Shaming anti-maskers is unlikely to make them to change their ways.

Shaming is not a productive part of the mask debate

As the coronavirus pandemic progresses, Hopkins has appealed to the personal responsibility of students by coining the phrase “JH Needs U,” which soon became a hashtag on social media. In Instagram post, the University asked students to send or post a picture of themselves wearing masks and a quote explaining why they do it, with the intention of inspiring others to follow suit. The caption reads, “Wearing a mask has never been more important.”  

We may be number nine, but our priorities are wrong

Hopkins was named the nation’s ninth best university by U.S. News & World Report on Monday, moving up a spot from last year. The announcement of this arbitrary ranking was met with quite the fanfare in the Hopkins community. The University’s social media pages celebrated the news. Students and alumni flooded our feeds, delighted about the University’s new status.

Without an in-person network, radical virtual collaboration is the key to student support.

Adapting to a virtual semester will require radical collaboration

Do you feel like you are in class? It’s the second week of Fall 2020, but the semester still feels as though it hasn’t started. For most of us, learning from home, online classes and student gatherings don't feel the same as in-person interactions. Sitting in front of a screen all day is hardly different from time spent during the summer. The question remains: How should we best adapt to a virtual Hopkins?

Hopkins needs to improve its contact tracing resources to help at-risk individuals stay safe.

Prodensity is not enough to track COVID-19 in the Hopkins community

Prodensity — an app originally developed to facilitate the record tracking of in-lab researchers during Phase One of the University’s reopening plan — has now improved to allow Hopkins affiliates in Baltimore to access resources and report their health status, as well as seek help if they have symptoms. 

The susceptibility of predictive artificial intelligence to racial biases makes its use dangerous in the criminal justice system.

Artificial intelligence poses serious risks in the criminal justice system

Whenever I tell people that I’m interested in artificial intelligence (AI), most of them bring up their favorite movie that features an evil AI assembling an army of killer robots that threaten to wipe out humankind. I have to admit that I used to be right there with them, but as entertaining and enjoyable as they are, they lead to a lot of misconceptions about what AI truly is and the very real ways that it impacts our lives.