Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
August 10, 2020


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

Public Domain
Hopkins is one of the only hospitals in the country to still allow people to smoke on campus.

Hopkins Hospital needs to ban smoking on its premises

Last year, as I was wheeling a patient into the Hopkins Hospital, she started coughing. Normally, that wouldn’t be in an issue. We were in a hospital after all. Having gotten into an accident, she needed a lot of help from the social service group that I work with to find her a new source of income. The coughing issue spiraled quickly, becoming unexpected and uncontrollable, so I quickly rushed her inside. After drinking some water and feeling more stable, she finally spoke up.

Let’s examine the character of writers we study

Before #MeToo, I did not take a very close look at the personal lives of artists whose work I admired. I was naive enough to think that in the 21st century, I could not possibly have been conditioned to respect sexual offenders. 

We need a student center

For decades, Hopkins students have yearned for a student center: a central space for the collective pursuit of our social and mental wellbeing. Hopkins is an outlier. A student center exists at nearly every other college and university campus in the United States (including the 33 peer institutions to which Hopkins compares itself), but not here. More schools have a student center than an armed private police force.

What the University can learn from the private police bill debacle

Last Friday, Maryland state legislators announced that they are withdrawing their support for the bill that would have allowed the University to create a private police force. This announcement came as a victory for the many student and community organizers who have been working tirelessly over the past couple of weeks to defeat the bill. 

Provide students with disabilities the resources they need

The student group Advocates for Disability Awareness (ADA) released a series of demands on Monday calling for the University to address a series of deficiencies in the way Hopkins currently accommodates students with disabilities. These demands, which are addressed to senior administrators, including President Ronald J. Daniels, were made in the wake of the dismissal of Dr. Brent Mosser. Mosser was the former director of academic support and disability services and served as an important advocate for students with disabilities on campus.

Grading on a curve promotes toxic competition

It doesn’t matter if you successfully learned 95 percent of the material if 50 percent of your class successfully learned 96 percent. Rather than earning the A you deserve on a test, a bell curve could downgrade you to a C. In a scenario like this, what incentive is there to cooperate? 

Working as an RA should not reduce one’s financial aid package

Residential Advisors (RAs) are some of the first people we meet upon arriving at Hopkins. They shape our first year experience and ease us through the transition from high school to college. The responsibilities of an RA go beyond just the hours they spend on duty. The job is vital to the emotional wellbeing of students and the position can often be emotionally, physically and psychologically taxing on RAs themselves.

The March in Washington, D.C. on March 24 was one of the largest gatherings in the country.

Parkland students are using their privilege for change

Do those speakers accurately represent decades of people of color who have spoken out against gun violence and been silenced? No. But was it clear to me that these kids made a real effort to include a diverse range of voices and center those who often don’t get the chance to speak.

We cannot take local journalism for granted

At a time when local publications across the nation are facing increasing financial pressures, it’s more important than ever to pay attention to these local outlets. We are in a city that is grappling with how it is telling its own story. 

Baltimore’s labor force must stand up to Hopkins

For the majority of the 20th century, Hopkins was not the primary economic engine of Baltimore City. That title belonged to a massive steel mill whose workers were part of a strong union, operating out of Sparrows Point in southeast Baltimore — Bethlehem Steel’s Baltimore plant. Up until its decline in the ‘70s and ‘80s, the mill was the crown jewel of an industrial Baltimore, perfectly positioned in a major port and railroad hub in the middle of the eastern shore. 

Courtesy of Louis Macabitas
This image from UC Davis shows the potential dangers of a private force.

A Hopkins private police force is not the answer

A protest on campus hosted by Students Against Private Police advertised with a now-famous picture of the University of California (UC), Davis police pepper-spraying peaceful protestors. In her book Campus Sex, Campus Security, Jennifer Doyle writes about the above incident of brutality.

BIT training must consider sexual assault survivors

I’ll start with a disclaimer: This article is going to discuss my experience with the Bystander Intervention Training (BIT) program during my freshman year. The program may have changed or evolved since my experience. I’m not criticizing the way it works today, but what happened during my BIT session was not okay.

Why we should care about the Italian elections

This is an election year, and for most American voters the November midterm races for the House and the Senate are of paramount concern. But Americans should also pay close attention to elections happening abroad, particularly those in Italy, because they highlight important global trends which have wide-reaching ramifications. 

Michael Vadon/CC by-SA 4.0
Trump changed his stance on gun control quickly, which has implications for all of politics.

Flip flopping in politics is more dangerous than ever

“Flip flopping” is a very charged term in the realm of politics. However, from Reagan’s flip from liberal abortion legislation in California to anti-abortion laws in the White House; to Nixon’s promise to end Vietnam that turned into massive escalation; to Lincoln’s promise to not use federal troops within the borders of the Union (a flip we are all thankful for) — this process of changing agendas is a very normal part of a president’s career. 

Hopkins needs to act now for the health of students of color

On Feb. 22, 2018 the Task Force on Student Mental Health and Well-being released a report outlining the insufficiently met mental health needs of students and strategies to better meet those needs. Three major recommendations called on Hopkins to “promote a climate of awareness,” “to provide greater access to mental health services” and “offer, and in some cases require, training on mental health awareness and resources for faculty, staff, and students.” 

Courtesy of Gillian Lelchuk
Lelchuk's bullet journal has helped improve many aspects of her life.

Creating a bullet journal can change your life

I started bullet journaling in May 2017. I started on the first day of May. I didn’t know what I was doing. I didn’t have a special bullet journal. I didn’t have any fun pens. I didn’t have a plan. Actually, that was the whole reason I started doing it — because I didn’t have any plans.

Let’s hold Hopkins accountable for mental health

It’s a well-known fact that for many people, Hopkins is a stressful school. There’s probably only one place in the world where you’ll see students streaming directly into the library after their University holds a campus-wide ceremony and light show, and that’s Hopkins! 

News-Letter Special Editions