Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
September 20, 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.



Letter to the Editor 07/02/2020

As president of our Student Government Association (SGA) and a member of the University-wide steering committee, I’ve been involved in fall planning for months. Equity has been a priority, and feedback is valuable. I thank the author of this article for airing their thoughts, but I would be remiss if I didn’t share my disagreement.  


COURTESY OF RUDY MALCOM

According to Furstenberg, those inside the “Garland Hall bubble” have caused damage to the University through their austerity measures.

Hopkins puts its credit rating ahead of its people

What do you call the phase of spending cuts that precedes thoughtful, deliberative planning? This was the question I was left with earlier this month, after a virtual town hall on budgetary decisions made by the University leadership in light of the coronavirus (COVID-19).


FILE PHOTO
Santra argues that students shouldn’t have to decide between safety and their education.

We all miss campus, but making the return optional isn’t equitable

A choose-your-own-adventure fall experience sounds ideal in theory. Those who want to come back to Baltimore may, and those who would rather play it safe stay home. Simple. Yet the University is making an important oversight in splitting the student population into on-campus and off-campus groups. Despite Daniels’ purported “keen focus on equity and fairness,” an optional return to campus is inherently inequitable for those remaining off campus.  



COURTESY OF CHRISTOPHER BECKER
As the country chants "Black Lives Matter," Onuoha considers whether it's true in America today. 

Post-protest thoughts: Do Black lives really matter?

I went to a protest earlier this month. I proudly held up a hand-painted sign as I joined the chorus of anguished cries and marched with 2000 other members of my community. I was impressed by the turnout, especially in my very white suburban Missouri town. As one of the few people of color in my community, I grew up feeling isolated and unknown, but as I heard my friends and neighbors proclaim, “Black lives matter!” I felt something new. I felt seen and heard and wanted. Knowing that communities across the nation were chanting the same thing, I was filled with hope. Maybe my people really are important to this country. Maybe black lives really do matter to white America.


Postponing the JHPD is a performative step in the right direction. Hopkins must do more to combat structural racism.

Three days ago, top University officials announced that they would be halting their plans to create a private police force (JHPD) for at least two years. This was the second communication sent to the student body in response to the protests that began when George Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis police officer. It took almost an entire week after Floyd’s death for the University to release a statement.  



COURTESY OF RUDY MALCOM
Yu argues that the University should seek to expand peer mentorship opportunities this fall.

Forging bonds is the solution to online learning

With students stuck in quarantine and living in limbo during this coronavirus pandemic, many of us have been wondering: How will remote education work moving forward? As President Christina Paxson of Brown University argued in the New York Times, college campuses across the U.S. should reopen in the fall — but what that will look like remains up in the air.  


FILE PHOTO
Amid protests over police brutality and violence, Hopkins must listen to its students and abandon plans for a private police force.

American policing is violent. The JHPD won’t be different.

The first time I visited Homewood Campus also happened to be the first night of the Garland Sit-In. Through all of the tours, class visits, events and students I spoke with during Spring Open House and Overnight Program (SOHOP), what I remember most is University President Ronald J. Daniels standing on stage, briefly addressing the protest that was taking place just across the quad.


COURTESY OF TEACHERS AND RESEARCHERS UNITED
Graduate students at Hopkins argue that the University has not adequately supported them amid COVID-19.

Hopkins makes it clear: Graduate students will confront fallout from COVID-19 alone

On Friday, May 22, Vice Provosts Nancy Kass and Stephen Gange abruptly ended ongoing meetings with Teachers and Researchers United (TRU), the Homewood Graduate Representative Organization, the School of Medicine Graduate Student Association and the Hopkins School of Public Health Student Assembly. These meetings had served as a forum to collectively determine how the Hopkins administration would support its graduate students during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. 


COURTESY OF JAMES DWECK
The University will be distributing Wellness Kits to students residing in Charles Village.

My experience as a student with COVID-19

Yesterday, Hopkins announced that it will be bringing students back to campus in the fall in some form. As universities prepare for their fall semesters, they’re going to think about the logistics of quarantine and isolation when their students start getting sick.


COURTESY OF RUDY MALCOM
Protesters gathered in front of the Hopkins sign on June 5 to demand racial equality.

On using our platform to amplify black voices

 When people ask us why we want to go into journalism, our response is almost reflexive. “Our passion,” we say, “is amplifying voices that often go unheard.” As protests across the country condemn police brutality and centuries of racial injustice, we’re thinking about how to best amplify black voices as Editors-in-Chief of The News-Letter.


COURTESY OF KATY WILNER 
Nationwide protests are demanding justice for George Floyd and the end to police brutality.

Reminder: We still can't breathe

Ahmaud Arbery. Sean Reed. Breonna Taylor. George Floyd. Tony McDade. Yassin Mohammed. These are the names that have recently been added to the Black community’s ever-growing directory of murdered souls. These are the names that have been etched into our minds. The names that we will shout every time we have to fight for justice. Their lives, their stories and their deaths have become integral parts of each and every one of our experiences. From strangers to something much stronger than family.




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.


News-Letter Special Editions