Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
February 24, 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.



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.


COURTESY OF SPECIAL COLLECTIONS, JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY
The Editorial Board argues that the University must address student concerns regarding the MSE library’s closure and provide an adequate solution for students.

If you’re going to take all of our money, at least give us a library.

As we enter the last month of fall semester classes, students will inevitably hunker down in the library while they prepare for exams and frantically type out papers. Typically, The News-Letter reminds students to leave the library and enjoy the sunlight; we tell students to prioritize their mental health and take breaks from continuous studying. Although that still holds true, we would like to highlight the importance of the Milton S. Eisenhower (MSE) library to this campus and its students.


MICHAEL STOKES / CC BY 2.0
Hsu argues that, despite dysfunction in the Republican party, President Biden’s re-election is not guaranteed.

The Republican Party is in disarray, and Biden is failing to capitalize

Joe Biden’s presidency has undeniably been held back by filibusters and conservative Democratic caucus members in the Senate, the current Republican majority in the House and challenges from the Supreme Court. But the intense division and dysfunction in the Republican Party provides a rare opportunity for a landslide victory for Democrats in 2024, which they look to be failing to fully capitalize on.


TERRI SEWELL / PUBLIC DOMAIN
Daum highlights the current shortcomings of voting in the U.S. and proposes reforms. 

Voting in the U.S. is broken: We need to change that

President Franklin D. Roosevelt once called the U.S. the “Arsenal of Democracy”, under the specter of World War II and the Great Depression. However, it is painfully clear that we are not living up to that lofty goal.


ALEXANDER MUSE / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Koldas calls for both YouTube and its viewers to take a more active role in detecting child abuse in family content on the platform. 

YouTuber parents’ exploitation of children has to stop

The dangerous side of family vloggers most recently came into global discussion following a scandal involving YouTuber Ruby Franke, who was more popularly known by her family content channel “8 Passengers.” Franke has recently been charged with child abuse and was arrested in August after authorities found a malnourished child with “open wounds and duct tape on their extremities.” This is proof that YouTube’s child protection policies must be improved.


Reflecting on the role of The News-Letter in campus discourse

The News-Letter published an op-ed last week titled “The Israel-Hamas war is not too complicated for Hopkins students,” which took a pro-Israel stance on the conflict. Following its publication, The News-Letter and the article’s author received backlash for its lack of historical context on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.


STIG NYGAARD / CC 2.0
In 2004, an art installment at the Roskilde Festival encouraged attendees to sign the wall to promote peace and protest a wall being built in Palestine. 

We have lost sight of the bigger picture in Gaza

As the world watches on and argues about who or what to condemn that led us to this reality where thousands have been killed in Gaza with no ceasefire in sight, we must ask ourselves what we would like to happen. Do we just want a world of retaliation and retribution, or do we desire a meaningful solution? 




MARK DIXON / CC BY 2.0 DEED
The Editorial Board hopes that the new School of Government and Policy will increase collaboration between STEM and the social sciences to bridge the gap between policy and research.

Politicians need to get behind the Petri dish

When we mention to people back home that we go to Hopkins, many of us are asked if we want to be doctors. While it is true that pre-med culture is prominent on campus and Hopkins is renowned for its medical institution, the University is strengthening its reputation of academic excellence in the social sciences.


WIKIMEDIA COMMONS / CC 3.0 
Mahto argues that Minhaj’s comedy must take into account possible repercussions for those he falsifies stories about.

Hasan Minhaj’s “Emotional Truths” are just dirty lies

Hasan Minhaj’s popularity has largely stemmed from his ability to tell jarring truths about being Muslim-American in humorous tones. Heartbreaking realities are much more palatable, especially for non-brown audiences, when told flippantly. It has been well documented throughout history that comedy is a form of social commentary. However, it is clear that some of the Minhaj’s tales that spark chuckles are often only ostensibly true.




MAARTEN COLLEN / CC BY 2.0
The Editorial Board warns readers to recognize when a celebrity obsession becomes unhealthy.

Proceed with caution: Parasocial relationships can be parasitic

If you’ve been following the news this week, you’ve likely seen Taylor Swift and Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce’s rumored relationship front and center. Following her appearance at his football game, fans have been analyzing short clips of the two interacting in an attempt to piece together the details of their relationship. Even senators are speculating on how well-matched the two are. 


WIKIMEDIA COMMONS / CC 2.0
Boppana argues that Bob Menendez owes it to his constituents to resign in order to restore their faith in their government. 

Bob Menendez owes it to his constituents to resign

Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey was federally indicted in New York for taking thousands of dollars in bribes on Sept. 22. Menendez is accused of extortion, specifically of using his position on the powerful United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations to obtain favors of value. 



GAGE SKIDMORE / CC BY 2.0
Koldas argues that, despite former U.S. President Trump’s indictment, he will not lose the support of his fans. 

Trump’s indictment will probably not reduce his impact (again)

Despite the allegations made against Trump, his past indictments and his current flippant attitude toward the situation, a poll from The Wall Street Journal found that 59% of Republican voters named Trump as their first choice, up from 48% prior to his indictments.  This is political fanaticism, and I am used to seeing it because I come from a country where it’s the norm.


JOHN RAMSPOTT / CC 2.0 
Swindle and Cherki argue that we have an obligation to actively remember American and African American history.

We must fight against attempts to erase our history

History is not solely a record of our mistakes. It is also a record of the greatest of humanity, of all the people before us who did the impossible — the people who did not get discouraged by how impossible change seemed and set out to make change happen despite knowing it would not be seen in their lifetimes. History shows a vital strength and a stubbornness that, in a world too focused on reality, we need to regain. 


GAGE SKIDMORE / CC BY-SA 2.0
Mahto argues that Vivek Ramaswamy appeals to conservative audiences on hot-button issues but lacks policy proposals. 

Vivek Ramaswamy has no platform

A Schrodinger's douchebag is someone who says offensive statements and contrives their level of seriousness and whether or not they were joking based on other people's reactions. A new politician has given the old-fashioned Republican Party a brown face, but when you strip away his Obama-esque charisma, all you're left with is a controversial pundit who stirs culture wars. Vivek Ramaswamy picks and chooses his identity, affiliations and views based on his audience.