Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
June 22, 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

Motorcycles are a good calculated risk

When I was a baby, my mother used to take me down the driveway to the side of Pacific Coast Highway almost every night. Watching the occasional car blur by with that unmistakable whoosh of air consistently put me to sleep with a smile on my face. While I don't usually fall asleep on the sides of highways anymore, machines of all shapes and sizes still captivate me. Whether it’s whipping around the yard with the weed whacker, sitting in the passenger seat on the way to school or even brushing my teeth with an electric toothbrush, my childhood was replete with indirect appreciation of human ingenuity. This is why it was a terrible idea for my parents to give me that little $300 100 cc dirt bike on my 13th birthday. I was hooked the first time I swung my leg over the saddle. 

For the coffee-obsessed, Argentina is a curiosity

As someone who has never stayed in a foreign country for more than four consecutive weeks, I made the decision to study abroad for a semester with the hopes of becoming immersed in a completely new culture. Argentina seemed like the perfect place for me, as I’d have the opportunity to hone my Spanish-speaking skills while also taking advantage of big city life in Buenos Aires.

Administration's Greek life actions discard student trust

I’m not the first person to use these pages to talk about Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE), and I’m just as confident I won’t be the last either. But I wanted to put my thoughts down on paper so there can be some kind of record to reflect how screwed up the University has become in the three years I have been a student here. Rather than establish a coherent policy that actually reflects how the Hopkins Greek/social scene actually works, the University has consistently followed an approach that puts short-term damage control above long-term stable policy. In order to change, the University needs to recognize the frustration of students and establish a body that will aggressively seek to reform policy, not pander to parents and donors.

Emojis add new, exciting emotional dimension to language

Why do people argue that the ungrammatical nature of texting is worse than other forms of communication? Texting (and Twitter and other forms of online social media) are different media that require a different vocabulary and formality. I don’t talk the same way I write essays — I don’t use “whom,” and I end sentences with prepositions. Yet my verbal speech is no worse than my written speech; it’s just different. Similarly, I don’t text like I write formally or speak because it is a different medium with different nuances. This also does not make it worse.

Put down your phone and pay attention

Did you know that human brains aren’t capable of multitasking? Although it might seem as though we can, our brains are actually jumping between the things we’re trying to do at a very fast rate. This jumping takes time, which means our concentration is not as good as it would be if we were only doing a single task.

Sen. Colton's open letter further divides Congress

I wish I could spend time with every member of Congress in order to determine whether he or she is as unyielding, petty and starkly divided along party lines as the House and Senate collectively appear. My gut instinct is no because it seems unlikely that the group of people we elect to govern would so often neglect rational conversation in order to openly denounce those with opposing viewpoints. But I may be wrong. Controversy sells, and ridiculous statements or proposals may help previously unknown lawmakers vault into the public eye. How else could you explain the snafu that has just arisen surrounding talks of nuclear disarmament between the United States and Iran?

NASA budget cuts abandon human spirit of exploration

Our reality is shaped by the stories we tell each other, by our aspirations, by our dreams and the realities we choose to create from them. Our world and its peripheries are defined by our ability to reach out and explore, to go where no man has ever gone before.

Being sober in college is more fun than you'd think

I studied abroad in Dublin, Ireland at Trinity College a little over a year ago. While there, I studied, explored the city and visited more abbey ruins than I can count. I also experienced the Irish drinking culture — I went clubbing, listened to unknown 1970s American music in bars and had epic conversations with tipsy 65-year-olds until the wee hours. It was wonderful. Exhausting, but wonderful.

Netanyahu practices bad diplomacy

Let me begin this piece by saying that I support Israel. I'd like to think that this support comes from more objective reasons than my ethno-religious background, but it still probably plays a far larger role than I think. However, this piece is not about exactly why I support Israel, because last night while watching Netanyahu address Congress on Fox, I actually felt that he gravely overstepped. Any time a foreign leader attempts to influence the foreign policy of another country is not a good thing. This is exactly what Benjamin Natanyahu is doing by claiming to be "a representative of all the Jewish people" and with his aim to discourage congress from supporting Obama's nuclear deal with Iran.

SAE suspension wrong, requires reversal

The Editorial Board stands in firm opposition to the disciplinary course the University has decided to take against the Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) fraternity. We view these punitive measures as lacking in both proportionality and basic fairness, and we condemn University administrators for their negligent erring in attention to precedent and context. We urge immediate reconsideration of the case and a new punishment to be handed down.

Raise your glass to an on-campus bar

Throughout most of its history, Hopkins had an on-campus bar in Levering Hall that was extremely popular among juniors and seniors. The Rathskeller, or “The Rat,” was a central feature of campus nightlife — a disco even more than just an alcohol source.

Sugar addiction a very profitable affliction

Hello. My name is Will Marcus and I am a sugar addict. I’ve always been the trouble-maker with his hand in the cookie jar, and Halloween is still my favorite holiday. I’ve likely eaten hundreds of pounds of sickeningly sweet indulgences — from deep fried twinkies at the Texas State Fair to delicate souffles at that swanky steak house. Before I proceed in this article I would like to make one thing abundantly clear: I regret nothing. That stuff was indeed delicious, but now it’s high time to make a change.

Hospice care is a viable alternative

After introducing himself he handed me a pamphlet. It was hard to understand what he was saying so I watched his mouth form the words. The disease had ruthlessly weakened his muscles including those involved in speech and swallowing. I looked down at the pamphlet. The words myasthenia gravis stared back at me. “Myasthania gravis is a neuromuscular disease that results in severe weakening of the skeletal muscles.”

Deceptive "all natural" labels at stores victimize consumers

We proclaim ourselves to be independent Americans, resolutely unswayed by marketing strategies and stubborn in our pursuit of healthy living. We toot our horns when our meals are all organic, without GMOs, all natural... and the food industry knows. They know our new obsession, our new fad to be healthy because the ideal image is not of a person with a thick waistline slobbering over an oily plate of fries.

Varsity sports are integral to Homewood life

One thing we have learned as student-athletes at Johns Hopkins is that it is impossible to judge the worthiness of something solely based on whether it returns a financial benefit. What athletes gain through giving their blood, sweat and tears simply cannot be valued in monetary terms. Athletics challenge our student-athletes to be better in every aspect of their lives, to always strive for greatness and to honor the tradition that the jersey represents. Here at Hopkins we are proud to have the opportunity to wear our school’s name across our chest, much the same as thousands of student-athletes across the country who also proudly represent their universities.

Off-campus housing process is valuable

Breaking free of the on-campus world and bidding farewell to the FFC, sophomore and junior students flock beyond their usual perimeter in search of off-campus housing. Words like “rent,” “Internet,” “water” and “lease” are laced into our to-do lists, right under problem sets, readings and BlackBoard lecture slides. We shed a tear for the toilet paper rolls that will no longer be dropped by their doors weekly, the communal bathrooms that established the original shower singing quartet and the God-given meal plans that provided a stable source of food. But there is a time and a place for adulthood, and it warmly welcomes us with open brochures and “Off-Campus Housing Office” signs second semester.

Fifty Shades of Grey is more than smut

This past weekend was an internationally recognized holiday celebrating love in the name of Saint Valentine, or, as others observe Feb. 14: Single’s Awareness Day. It was also the premiere weekend of the eagerly anticipated film adaptation of the book Fifty Shades of Grey.

Immigration order tests Obama's executive power

Yesterday, United States District Judge Andrew Hanen stalled Obama's executive order to shield young illegal immigrants from deportation if they were brought into the country at a sufficiently young age. The order also aimed to extend similar protection to the parents of legal U.S. citizens who have been in the country for some years. Despite having the support of 12 liberal states, the order is not supported by a large coalition of conservative states across the South and Midwest because they believe Obama violated the "Take Care Clause."

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