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.


Justice for Jussie Smollett won’t be enough

February 11, 2019

Black gay actor and activist Jussie Smollett told police that he was attacked on Jan. 29 by two men shouting racist and homophobic slurs. In a follow-up interview, Smollett said one of them also yelled, “This is MAGA [Make America Great Again] country.” ...

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Here’s why sorority recruitment is flawed

February 3, 2019

This weekend, hundreds of underclassmen will go through the process known as formal recruitment in the hopes of joining one of the five Panhellenic sororities at Hopkins. For many students across the country, Greek life is a crucial aspect of their college experience. It’s where they meet their closest friends, find personal and academic support and make professional connections. But for some, the actual recruitment process evokes none of those positive qualities.


Confronting and understanding my boredom

February 3, 2019

“Ever to confess that you are bored means you have no inner resources.” This is a line in John Berryman’s “Dream Song 14” that I kept scrawling on pieces of scrap paper this past winter. My dad had once told me almost the exact same thing when I was seven, sitting in the back of the car and whining about how bored I was. Since then, I can’t remember a time I admitted to him that I was bored. 

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MICHAELMAGGS / CC BY-SA 3.0

Japan uses the koban system, a form of community policing that uses “police boxes.”

What Hopkins can learn from Japan’s police system

January 31, 2019

As an exchange student brought up in Japan, it was a whole new idea that people can feel threatened by police officers. By taking sociology classes, participating in local volunteer activities and talking with minority students at Hopkins, I learned that people in Baltimore -- especially minorities -- regard police officers not as their protectors, but as potential threats because of their discriminatory, unjust policing. 


As Hopkins expands into D.C., what does that mean for Baltimore?

January 31, 2019

Last Friday, many of us received an email that Hopkins had purchased the building that currently houses the Newseum, a museum in Washington, D.C. that is dedicated to promoting freedom of speech. Located on Pennsylvania Avenue, the building is positioned at the heart of the nation’s capital and will primarily be used to centralize the University’s graduate programs, including the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).

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Hopkins Hospital continues to undervalue the lives of its patients

December 13, 2018

When Johns Hopkins established the Johns Hopkins Hospital in 1889, he sought to provide quality healthcare and serve as an invaluable resource to the surrounding community. Yet recent reports on the conditions at the Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Fla. and the Johns Hopkins Hospital in East Baltimore illustrate an appalling failure to carry on our founder’s mission.

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When will RAs be compensated equitably?

December 9, 2018

The week before Thanksgiving, Michael Bloomberg donated $1.8 billion to Hopkins, the largest ever donation to an academic institution, for use in financial aid for qualified low and middle-income students. In accepting the donation, University President Ronald J. Daniels stated that the University wanted to “recruit more first-generation and low-income students and provide them with full access to every dimension of the Johns Hopkins experience.”


Unpacking Ciccariello-Maher’s lies about Venezuela last week

December 5, 2018

If you listened to Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro following his 2018 “re-election,” you would probably think Venezuela was a utopian country with strong democratic institutions or at least a country on the right track. Maduro triumphantly proclaimed a “heroic, beautiful, popular victory, forged in the struggle.” When asked about his autocratic tendencies, Maduro snapped back, asking “Do they really think that people here are so submissive that they would put up with a dictator?” 

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Radical political theorist George Ciccariello-Maher spoke at the MSE event last week.

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To fight climate change, donate $0 to our senior class gift

December 3, 2018

This week, Refuel Our Future kicked off its campaign against donations to the University. We constructed a graveyard on Keyser Quad memorializing things we are losing to climate change and launched a social media campaign on Facebook. Now that our initial push has concluded, we want to take the chance to re-introduce ourselves as a club and explain why we chose the tactics we did.


Higher ed should not have to rely on $1.8 billion donations

December 3, 2018

Thanksgiving Break was a much-needed time to avoid thinking about school. And yet, just a few days into it, alum Michael Bloomberg made an announcement that immediately drew my attention back to Hopkins. Bloomberg explained in a Nov. 18 New York Times op-ed that he was giving $1.8 billion to Hopkins to be used for financial aid. 

DAVID SHANKBONE / CC BY 2.0

Shua argues that universities should lower their tuitions to accommodate low income students.

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We need to stop romanticizing John Chau

December 3, 2018

John Allen Chau, an American missionary and adventurer, was killed by the Sentinelese, a tribe of 50 to 200 individuals indigenous to North Sentinel Island, a remote island in the Bay of Bengal on Nov. 17. According to the diary he left behind, Chau was attempting to convert the Sentinelese, one of the last remaining uncontacted peoples, to the Christian faith. 


What mental health resources does Baltimore have to offer?

November 29, 2018

As students at Hopkins, we are all residents of Baltimore City. It is easy to forget this when we talk about mental health at Hopkins, an indisputably academically stressful environment, yet a privileged population. In some neighborhoods in Baltimore, mental health stems from deep-rooted issues of segregation, poverty and socioeconomic disparities. 


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This Thanksgiving, being grateful in the midst of tragedy

February 6, 2019

As the Editorial Board, we usually dedicate each week to holding people in power accountable, to mourning lives lost, to demanding change. But as Thanksgiving approaches, we also want to reflect on what we have to be grateful for — on the strides we’ve made not only in our country, but also in this city that we love and at our University.


Asian-Americans: Young Kim does not speak for us

November 14, 2018

Last week’s midterm elections brought a series of historical firsts, such as the first Native-American congresswoman, the first Muslim congresswoman and the first openly gay governor, to name a few. However, one “first” candidate that we’ve left out of the spotlight is Young Kim, who may be the first Korean-American woman elected to Congress. 

comedora / cc by 2..0

Wu argues that for LGBTQ Asians in the U.S., Young Kim’s victory would be a setback.

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When Asians say they’re not into Asian men

November 19, 2018

I’m not into Asian men.” I can attribute this quote to several friends and acquaintances, and the funny thing is, many of them were Asian.  Which begs the question: why? I sometimes ask that aloud. Usually the response would be a non-answer: silence, a topic change or “I don’t know, I’m just not into them.” 


Letter to the Editor 11/8/18

November 8, 2018

The News-Letter editorial, “How can we fight the rising tide of hate in our country?” includes many useful thoughts, especially on the evils of anti-Semitism and its incubation on social-media platforms such as Gab. But it also relies on a misreading of the First Amendment’s fighting-words exemption to argue that “hate speech” is constitutionally “unprotected.”