Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
June 12, 2024


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

The mudslinging on campus should stop

Over recent months, the Beta Theta Pi fraternity (Beta) has greatly expanded its sphere of influence and has assumed almost complete control over campus institutions such as The News-Letter and the SGA. Through such extraordinary levels of campus influence, Beta has unquestionably solidified its status as the premier Greek organization at Hopkins. In fact, if the brothers of this organization maintain their extraordinary pace for getting other fraternities kicked off of campus, in 12 years, they will be not just be the premier all-male social Greek organization, but rather, the only one left. Oh yes, the day of reckoning is at hand, and it’s only the beginning: Less known to the public are Beta’s aspirations for world domination through its burgeoning membership in the illustrious and secretive “Illuminati.” The organization apparently commended Beta for all of its great work last semester and extended an invitation — which the brothers unanimously accepted, without question.

Engage with SGA so it can represent you

The Student Government Association (SGA) passed a resolution on Tuesday expressing its disapproval of a potential Chick-fil-A opening on campus, as a result of the company’s public stances on homosexuality and past homophobic remarks by the company’s leaders. This decision is consistent with statements that have been made by the SGA ever since the controversy came to light three years ago. The SGA has spoken on this issue, and the Editorial Board encourages the administration to respect the student voice and to refuse a Chick-fil-A location on campus. The SGA is the established voice of the Hopkins student community, and when it speaks, it speaks as representative of the student body in its entirety.

Police departments shouldn't police themselves

America's police forces, in every state, require reform, and I'm talking about more than just mandatory body cameras. The problem is not that there are bad cops out there. The problem is that our police forces' judiciary systems fail to do anything about them. In 2008 and 2009, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a complaint with the Justice Department accusing the Newark, N.J. police department of misconduct. The investigation yielded that only one of 261 filed complaints was sustained by the department's internal investigations. I find it hard to believe that 260 of those complaints were unjustified. Bad officers require accountability. Someone needs to police our police, because they definitely aren't doing an adequate job of it.

Iranian nuclear deal needs to be tougher

Finally, Barack Obama is about to thaw the 35-year diplomatic freeze with Iran. Yes, the crown jewel of Obama's foreign policy initiatives, the Iranian nuclear deal, has just about been finalized. Several months ago, I wrote an Opinions piece through which I expressed my dissatisfaction at the earlier draft of the nuclear deal. I even went so far as to claim that Israel's extreme right-wing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's impassioned speech before Congress was factually justified, albeit extremely inappropriate and undiplomatic. Now I sing a different, cautiously optimistic tune that the deal is moving in the right direction. The new draft of the deal is significantly tougher.

Dieting is great if you have the right reasons

I don’t like diets. Every time I go on one I feel like I’m conforming — conforming to society’s idea of skinny, conforming to what doctors think is the “right” body size, conforming to an idea I have in my head of what I should look like. Plus, diets turn me into a crazy, obsessive, calorie-counting fiend. Also, I like chocolate and bread. A lot.

Institute designated smoking areas

Recently, the Vice Provost for Student Affairs, Kevin Schollenberger, has formed a committee to examine the University’s smoking policies on campus. The committee is exploring the possibilities of transitioning to a smoke-free campus or creating designated outdoor smoking areas.

MSE should not become another Brody

This week, the University sent an email to undergraduates asking for their participation in a survey regarding possible renovations to the Milton S. Eisenhower Library (MSE). The survey was extensive – asking students for their opinions on everything from chairs and tables to overarching questions about the feel, lighting, mood and structure of their preferred study spaces.

Utah's firing squad executions are barbaric

I can think of no better person to spend a gloomy, rainy Saturday afternoon with than Bruce Willis. I love watching Tom Cruise sprint on camera almost as much as he enjoys watching it himself. I love action movies — always have, always will. As much as I would like to write a short piece about why I love action movies, doing so would be criminal in light of recent events.

Housing decisions awoke my inner adult

Saying that college freshmen are stuck between childhood and adulthood is a cliché, but, from my freshman perspective, it’s a accurate cliché. Most of my peers and I are not living under our parents’ roofs any more. Many of my friends are no longer living with strictly enforced curfews. I voted this past fall. Yet I am still (luckily and gratefully) being supported financially by my parents. I can’t legally drink alcohol. Am I an adult? Legally, of course. Many developmental scientists would say that I’m in ‘early adulthood’ and will enter ‘full’ or ‘later’ adulthood in my mid-twenties. Personally, calling myself an adult makes me feel nauseous. I ate Ben and Jerry’s Americone Dream ice cream for dinner last week, which tells me I am far, far away from being an adult.

There is more to ADHD than we assume

When Gillian Lynne was eight years old, she hardly paid attention in class and constantly fidgeted. She was thought to have a learning disorder and was sent to a specialist. The specialist left her for a minute, but as he left the room, he turned on the radio. As soon as he left, the girl was on her feet, dancing. Looking at her from outside, the doctor told her mother, “She’s not sick; she’s a dancer. Why don’t you take her to a dancing school?” Gillian Lynne grew up to be an acclaimed dancer and choreographer, best known for her work with Cats and Phantom of the Opera. Today we would label her as an ADHD child, tell her to calm down and medicate her.

Homogenization of music continues

I am no snob. I happily drink any coffee black, I wear comfortable clothes that fit and I acknowledge that a good $10 screw-top bottle of wine tastes just as good to me as any of the more expensive options. I firmly believe a hearty bowl of lentil stew produced over an open campfire in the backcountry trumps any aged steak from a swanky steak house. Yet I still can't seem to get over my recent pivot to musical snobbery.

College admission rates don't merit all the hype

Friday was a usual day for me. I woke up, went to class, had lunch and did some homework. It was not until dinner when a friend mentioned it was the admission notification day for Hopkins. To our surprise, our admission rate has decreased by nearly 3 percent. My friend even said, “Imagine what would happen in 10 years. Hopkins will have a 5 percent admission rate!”

SGA Exec. Board Endorsement 2015

Editor’s Note: Jack Bartholet, a candidate for executive vice president, is one of the Editors-in-Chief of The News-Letter. We recognize that this puts the Editorial Board in a position to be unfairly influenced. However, we are confident that we have evaluated the candidates with the utmost objectivity and as much distance as possible. In reflecting on our personal experiences with both Bartholet and with Jason Plush, who is a former Sports Editor of the newspaper, we believe that we have been able to make better-informed judgments. Bartholet did not have any role in interviewing the tickets, and he has not written, edited or read this editorial before its publication.

Adderall should not be for recreational use

An article in this week’s paper reports on Adderall usage at Hopkins. Students commonly use the ADHD drug for purposes other than its prescribed use, namely to enhance their academic performance and for partying. In order to improve their grades, many students buy Adderall and similar drugs illegally. Though we recognize that students praise Adderall’s ability to help them focus, the Editorial Board highly discourages the use of Adderall by students who have not been diagnosed with ADHD and prescribed the drug by a licensed physician.

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