Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
June 2, 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.



It’s time to tackle human trafficking in Baltimore

I have always had a primal fear of being kidnapped or attacked. When I was in middle school, I could almost never fall asleep unless I felt the security of my sister or my mom’s resting body next to mine. I dreaded the inevitability of going to bed and lying still in darkness where, for hours, my mind would form horrifying, threatening thoughts about an intruder or a serial killer before my exhaustion finally overcame me.


Out of the dark: The quest for open government

In February of 2010, Julian Assange and WikiLeaks made history by releasing the largest set of restricted government documents to the public, leaking over 250,000 private U.S. diplomatic cables and 500,000 classified reports concerning covert military operations.


Ad project provides valuable experience

A Hopkins marketing class, Advertising and Integrated Marketing Communication, was selected to compete in the nationwide Honda Civic Marketing Challenge along with 20 other universities. Simulating the environment of an actual advertising agency and even assigning students to individual “departments,” the class is a full-service ad agency called “Global Blue Strategies.” The students as a class are responsible for a project entitled “Recreate a Classic,” which involves developing an effective advertising campaign for the 2013 Honda Civic Sedan.


It’s not a matter of Freedom of Speech

JHU Voice for Life (VFL), a group of students which pledges to “defend the inviolable right to life of every innocent human being from conception until natural death,” applied to the Student Government Association (SGA) earlier this month for approval as a University-recognized student group. An offshoot of an earlier student organization founded in 1995, the new group seeks to “help eliminate the root causes of abortion” by engaging in “sidewalk counseling, prayer and protest at clinic[s]” and by displaying “fetal models in [the] Breezeway.” In a majority vote, the SGA denied VFL student group status, citing these activities as potentially offensive and harassing. VFL appealed to the SGA Judiciary Committee, invoking the guarantee of freedom of speech. The Judiciary Committee will hear the case in April and decide whether to uphold the SGA’s denial.


After Chavez, a chance for democracy in Venezuela

The American media portrayed former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez as a totalitarian dictator who was staunchly opposed to U.S. policies. His crackdown on dissent and his drafting of a new constitution which granted him almost exclusive executive power led many to consider him an authoritarian leader who violated human rights.


Career Center needs to modernize its approach

For most seniors, myself included, the prospect of graduation carries a degree of uncertainty and fear. Since age five, we’ve had the certainty of school. But now that’s over. For many of us, this means moving “out into the world” and finding employment.


Why the public is wrong about narcolepsy and about me

I remember the day I realized that I needed to seek professional medical help. I woke up halfway through a scheduled organic chemistry exam, dazed and confused and still in bed wearing a nightgown that read, “Sleep All Day, Party All Night.” I panicked and ran to class, still dressed in my seemingly ironic garment, only to find the lecture hall full of staring, accusing eyes, and no empty seats. It was an infamous nightmare come true, and it happened to me more than once. I soon found out that narcolepsy was to blame.


Sequester myth: Drastic cuts or drop in the bucket?

If you’ve happened across the news in the past few weeks, chances are you’ve heard the word “sequester,” along with its description as “devastating,” “ruthless” and “draconian.” In 2011, President Obama and Congress agreed to enact a series of automatic budget cuts if Congress failed to cut $1.5 trillion from the federal budget over the next ten years. A bit less than half of the cuts target the discretionary side of the budget — funds which the federal government isn’t legally obligated to pay — while the rest target mainly non-defense discretionary spending, and a portion of Medicare.


Letter: The real aim of FAS

The opinions that were expressed in an editorial observer about the Foreign Affairs Symposium in last week’s issue of The News-Letter exemplify a clear lack of understanding of the mission of FAS. The Foreign Affairs Symposium aims to provide a forum for thoughtful and intellectual debate.  Through the events that we organize, we hope to generate discussion about current and pressing issues of international significance.  If the line-up were to cater to the views of individual students, it would not be doing its job.  It would only be reinforcing generally accepted views.  Instead, our speakers are selected for their ability to captivate an audience and spark dialogue.


Letter: Eddie's is a staple in Charles Village

Eddie’s market has been a crucial part of the Charles Village community for more than fifty years.  Through donations of goods and services, it has been a strong supporter of many Hopkins projects. They have a commitment to buying local brands and produce.  Most crucially, they hire locally, and support their permanent employees with health benefits and pensions.  All of their workers are unionized, an increasingly rare thing in the area. Some of their employees have been with Eddie’s since the eighties.


New track returns to research foundation

The Krieger School of Arts and Sciences has recently made available a Global Social Change and Development (GSCD) track within the International Studies major, with a stated focus on changes in wealth and power distribution, new forms of global conflict and “the degree to which we as individuals can influence global social change.” Students who pursue GSCD will graduate with a double major in International Studies and Sociology.


Lineup fails to live up to FAS aims

As one of only two guest lecture series during the academic year, the Foreign Affairs Symposium (FAS) is expected to offer students a window to the world. It prides itself on generating a substantive discourse on the most pressing issues of the day, aiming to “inspire the next generation of leaders in the Baltimore community to think analytically about issues, learn from innovation and consider the persisting problems that we must face and overcome in a rapidly changing world.”


Disciplinary structure needs revision

An undisclosed incident involving several members of the Hopkins Men’s Lacrosse team recently resulted in a violation of team policy. The team’s head coach, David Pietramala, responded by pledging to bench two different members of the team who were involved in the incident during games throughout the season.


New TSA weapon policy change is misguided

Following the Transportation Safety Administration’s (TSA) installation of full body scanners and the enactment of limitations on the size of liquid containers, some frequent flyers grumbled about the added inconvenience, but most embraced these precautions for the greater protection they promised to provide. Since September 11, these enhancements of airport and in-flight security and surveillance are part of a concerted effort to safeguard our skies and protect against future hijackings or terrorist attacks.


Oscar Pistorius’ fatal quest for control

“I am the bullet in the chamber.” Those are the now infamous words that appear in the 2011 Nike ad featuring the South African double-amputee Paralympic star, Oscar Pistorius. After making history at the 2012 Summer Olympics as the first double leg amputee to compete in the men’s 400 meters and 4 x 400 meters relay races, Pistorius, dubbed the “Bladerunner” in reference to his blade-like prosthetic legs, was charged on February 14 with the murder of his model girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, inside his home in Pretoria.



Committee should reach out to students

Last week, the Johns Hopkins Spring Fair Committee, in partnership with the Hopkins Organization for Programming (HOP), made an announcement presenting the L.A.-based indie band GroupLove as the highlight of this year’s Spring Fair Music Festival. Known for its hits, “Colours,” “Tongue Tied,” and “Itchin’ on a Photograph,” GroupLove is scheduled to perform in company with a diverse lineup of artists from April 12 to April 14.


McChrystal provides balanced critique

General Stanley McChrystal kicked off the Foreign Affairs Symposium last night. In his speech, the four-star general and former commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan focused on the importance of understanding differing national perspectives and the significance of international relationships. He spoke at length about the U.S.-Iranian relationship and argued that the events of the past 70 years can be retold differently from both sides. Ignoring one side’s perspective, he concluded, is a recipe for disaster.



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