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

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.



For safety of all, BIT must be mandatory

In the fall of 2013, the University instituted an interactive, student-facilitated program called Bystander Intervention Training (BIT) designed to teach students, staff and faculty about sexual assault, abusive relationships and rape culture and to give them tools to prevent gender violence on campus. The general consensus on campus is that BIT is a well-put together program and that it is extremely informative, and the Editorial Board agrees with the immense value that this program holds.


Aging entails much more than you think

Most people know all too well the experience of old age and caring for the elderly — it’s something that transcends all cultures and generations. I’ve had the opportunity to analyze the last cycle of life through sociological and ethical lenses during my courses this semester. As a child who is privileged enough to have all his grandparents alive, I am lucky enough to say I have not personally experienced the death of a loved one. However, aging as a concept is not solely about “slowly dying” but unfortunately involves a tremendous amount of sickness. With grandparents who have gone through and are currently going through their share of caretaking, I know just how relatable these concepts and experiences are to others. The last cycle of life is tied to many different illnesses like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, cancer and loss of hearing or vision — thus making it a ubiquitous experience in our society.


Sexist children's book draws justifiable rage

Earlier this fall, a children’s book that was originally released four years ago stood in the spotlight as many readers criticized its sexist portrayal of women in a professional environment. Barbie: I Can Be A Computer Engineer is an installment in the I Can Be series starring none other than Barbie herself. This sounds like the type of book that would empower young girls to engage with science and technology and encourage them that anything is possible through hard work. Instead we see that Barbie is only able to be a computer engineer if her male friends are there to fix all of her mistakes.


Sexist children's book draws justifiable rage

Earlier this fall, a children’s book that was originally released four years ago stood in the spotlight as many readers criticized its sexist portrayal of women in a professional environment. Barbie: I Can Be A Computer Engineer is an installment in the I Can Be series starring none other than Barbie herself. This sounds like the type of book that would empower young girls to engage with science and technology and encourage them that anything is possible through hard work. Instead we see that Barbie is only able to be a computer engineer if her male friends are there to fix all of her mistakes.


Hopkins theater needs space for existing talent to grow

For a school so famous for its academics, Hopkins has a surprising amount of theater talent among its student body. There is a show (sometimes more) performed practically every weekend, with groups performing original works from improvisation comedy to theater classics. The theater scene truly does cater to all sorts of thespian palates. And yet, Hopkins theater leaves a lot to be desired.


America needs real political discourse

Our grandparents got their news from the radio, our parents got their news from TV stations and we get our news from BuzzFeed (which is actually a somewhat respectable news source). While this may be a huge oversimplification of how different generations stayed informed, there are some profound changes coming to the political landscape of this country.



SGA forum rightly focused on solutions

The Editorial Board would like to commend the Student Government Association (SGA) for hosting an open forum in which students were able to directly interact with their elected SGA representatives and petition them for action. Additionally, we found the SGA’s facilitation of the forum to be prudent while simultaneously maintaining a receptive approach to student input.


Blue Jay Pride Week should be expanded

Last week the Student Government Association (SGA) hosted Blue Jay Pride Week, which consisted of several events over the course of three days that were designed to increase school pride. The week opened on Thursday with “Rep Your Club Day,” where students got free donuts and coffee for wearing gear printed with their campus affiliations. Friday was “Hopkins Day,” where any students with Hopkins attire could get free Hopkins buttons and stickers. The week ended on Saturday morning with a tailgate that included a DJ and food trucks.


We must all do our part to protect Maryland Waterways

The Clean Water Act has brought progress to the Chesapeake Bay, but in order to continue the program's successful trajectory, we must protect all the waterways in Maryland. A loophole in the Clean Water Act has left more than 59 percent of streams, including many that feed into the Chesapeake Bay, vulnerable to pollution.




ISIS soldiers destroy thousands of years of art

For the past few months, headlines about ISIS have been sweeping the news cycles. Tension in the Middle East has been on the rise for years now, but earlier this week, U.S. President Barack Obama announced that an additional 1,500 troops will be sent to Iraq to help train Iraqi army soldiers to combat ISIS on the ground. This change in our nation's approach to ISIS marks a shift in strategy from air missiles and drone strikes to boots on the ground and draws new attention to the events occurring in the region. The perpetual states of war experienced by Iraq and Syria are not only detrimental to its citizens, but also risks the lives of past civilizations of the Mediterranean.


Apple retires iPhone Classic: a warm bon voyage

Apple unveiled the newest set of iPhones a few weeks ago to much fanfare but made no mention of the product it was retiring: the original click wheel iPod. Sure, Apple will continue to sell the iPod Touch, but the legendary product that built the foundations of the ubiquitous company we know today will no longer be sold in stores.


Hopkins dining program has come a long way

o begin this article, I would like to harken back and evoke the dining scene here at Hopkins just a few years ago. Taco Bell and Pizza Hut occupied Levering (talk about some healthy options, eh?); fried chicken and canned vegetables could be found daily at the FFC; Meals-in-a-Minute consisted of damp, soggy turkey sandwiches; and Nolan’s didn’t know how to spell "salad." Underclassmen do not recall when Aramark was our dining contractor, which was only two years ago (Bon Appétit is the current one). “We have a salad bar?” was the common reply to what was served for vegetarians or vegans. Having choices about what to eat on a nightly basis and not having to ask a manager about every dish has been a new experience for vegetarians and vegans on campus. Local food options included Pepsi (made right here in Maryland) and produce grown in North Carolina (not especially local). The dining program at Hopkins has seen a complete 180 in the past 10 years.


Crooked Wood: A war on childhood

Last spring sitting in the Radcliffe Camera in Oxford and working on my final dissertation, I was writing somewhat frantically to my contact at Oxford Aid to the Balkans (OXAB). I desperately wanted to switch my placement in Bulgaria from an orphanage on the Black Sea to a small, dusty town a few hours south of Sofia called Pazardzhik to work with a group of Syrian refugee children. When I finally got confirmation that I would be heading to the veritable boonies of Bulgaria to teach these kids with another student from Oxford, I think the Rad Cam heard its first squeal in at least the past 150 years. A month later, I found myself on a plane to Sofia, trying to decipher the words that suddenly surrounded me. Even when I learned the Cyrillic alphabet, the world that I now inhabited remained obscure. Then again, it has never been particularly clear for the children we were to be working with. They and their parents have remained in a bureaucratic limbo, filled to the brim with political agendas and centuries-old prejudices. Even worse may be that no one actually knows of their struggle. While the Syrian refugees that remain in Iraq, Turkey and Lebanon have received widespread news coverage (not that this has benefitted them to any great extent), those who have made it out of the Middle East and into the European Union are virtually invisible. Fair enough, one might think, considering the disparity in wealth between the two locales... until you look at Bulgaria.



Student dining sentiment is troubling

Last spring, The News-Letter reported that many Bon Appétit employees were deeply dissatisfied with their treatment by the company’s management. After management changes, including the removal of Executive Chef Robert Lavoie and Resident District Manager Norman Zwagil, Fresh Food Café (FFC) workers have noted improvement. Yet there are still some issues that leave employees disgruntled — including clocking-in policies and a general lack of morale — and several students have observed disgruntlement amongst employees translating to employees’ treatment of students.


Fraternities can fight rape culture

In response to the alleged sexual assault that took place inside the Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) fraternity house, the Inter-Fraternity Council (IFC) unanimously voted to ban all open parties for the rest of the semester. The Editorial Board fully supports this course of action. Extreme circumstances, like the reported sexual assault of a 16-year-old, require a comparably extreme response — and we hope to see all IFC members abide by this initiative and for the IFC to impose forceful sanctions on any violators.


Podcast
Multimedia
Be More Chill
Leisure Interactive Food Map
The News-Letter Print Locations
News-Letter Special Editions