Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
May 30, 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.



There's a beautiful city out there waiting to be explored

When you think of the Johns Hopkins University’s Homewood campus, located in the heart of Baltimore, you know it as a pretty and composed campus that has easy access to the affluent Inner Harbor. It’s the living embodiment of the pictures that all of the welcome brochures contain, and as a giddy, 17-year-old incoming freshman, you really think that you’ll experience all that Baltimore has to offer. After all, you wanted a city school for a reason — it’s full of off-campus activities. You yearned for an urban environment, but many don’t realize all of the facets that come with a city in its entirety.


Don't let your transcript define you

Ivy Leagues were once known for their brick walls, prestigious alumni, low-acceptance rates, and now, unfortunately, they are becoming known for student suicides. Suicides such as Madison Holleran from the University of Pennsylvania were especially shocking once it came to light that she made the horrible decision after receiving “bad grades.” Even on our campus there are individuals who have felt the need to take their own life, such as Yangkai Li, and to whose friends and family I offer my condolences. Now, I will not claim to know exactly what was on these individuals’ minds that could lead them to leave us so soon, but it has to be asked: Why are high-achieving students taking their lives when they have everything to live for?


Don't let your transcript define you

Ivy Leagues were once known for their brick walls, prestigious alumni, low-acceptance rates, and now, unfortunately, they are becoming known for student suicides. Suicides such as Madison Holleran from the University of Pennsylvania were especially shocking once it came to light that she made the horrible decision after receiving “bad grades.” Even on our campus there are individuals who have felt the need to take their own life, such as Yangkai Li, and to whose friends and family I offer my condolences. Now, I will not claim to know exactly what was on these individuals’ minds that could lead them to leave us so soon, but it has to be asked: Why are high-achieving students taking their lives when they have everything to live for?


Burkina Faso needs peaceful transition to civil government

On Oct. 30, in a blaze of metaphorical glory, protesters in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, set fire to the parliament in response to a constitutional amendment proposed by President Blaise Compaoré. The amendment would have removed presidential term limits, allowing Compaoré to continue the 27 years he had been in power. Twenty-seven years is already longer than the majority of Burkina Faso’s population has been alive — the median age is 17. Compaoré resigned on Oct. 31, reportedly fleeing to either Ghana or Cote d’Ivoire.





Marriage equality is just and right

The issue of marriage equality has long been a thorny subject in the political and social realms. In light of recent protests for and against same-sex marriage, and acknowledging the increasing number of states that are legalizing these marriages, the Editorial Board would like to state that it firmly believes that same-sex marriage should be legalized and that any couple that wishes to obtain a civil marriage license should have the right to do so. We do not think that a marriage should exclusively connote a union between man and woman.



University dining does not deserve No. 2 ranking

On Aug. 13, the college ranking that we have all been waiting for arrived: The Daily Meal’s list for the “75 Best Colleges for Food in America for 2014.” Students prepared for the waves of jealousy over their friends' campus dining programs at other schools, but much to everyone’s surprise, we ranked second. In one year, we managed to climb from number 42 to number two, beating every single Ivy League university in terms of food. But is the ranking truly accurate?


Mr. Phi Mu perpetuates gender double standard

Beauty pageants have been debated both ways: Some women find them empowering, while others view them as degrading. For some, beauty pageants are a lifestyle and a chance for women of all ages to use their grace, beauty, talents and mind to compete in a single competition. There is a stigma that surrounds the art of pageantry; outsiders often tend to judge contestants as shallow, vain individuals — only concerned with outer beauty. In competitions such as The Miss America Pageant, individuals have the opportunity to show who they are, inside and out, as they are judged in a talent segment, bathing suit segment, Q&A, dance and more. I often ask myself who would want to be judged on how “complete” of a “package” they are, but then I remember that some women find it enjoyable, and to that I say, “You do you.”


Sexual assault investigations should not be solely internal

A few weeks ago I attended a mandatory Sexual Assault Seminar for all new students. I was prepared to hear how sexual assault, specifically rape, is a very serious crime that should be reported to the police. However, throughout the two-hour session, almost every aspect of sexual assault was mentioned except for the fact that rape is a felony.


Greek Week treats certain groups unfairly

I would like to respond to the article published online on September 25, 2014 titled “Greek Week meets mixed student reviews.” I am most concerned about the way that the article portrayed the multicultural Greek (MG) groups on campus; with no other information beyond what is presented by the author, a reader will draw the conclusion that MG groups willingly ignore emails from other Greek groups and then complain that they had no power to participate in any events. This could not be farther from the truth.


Lawsuit highlights institutional racism

In 1783, Belinda Royall sued for reparations after surviving the Middle Passage and 50 years of slavery. She was given 15 pounds as compensation. This was far from a complete loss, since it was the first time a court had agreed that racist mistreatment of black individuals in America deserved reparations. Now a new litigation, over 200 years later, has come to light.


High levels of stress can lead to binge drinking

Earlier in the semester, University President Ronald J. Daniels released a University-wide statement addressing the issue of binge drinking on campus, specifically in regards to full-time undergraduate students. Johns Hopkins University, along with eight other Maryland universities, participated in the Maryland College Alcohol Survey, which found that out of the 4,200 students who completed the survey, nearly half had taken part in binge drinking. Daniels’s message echoes the University's mission to address this pervasive behavior and improve the health and safety of the Homewood community.


Ebola will not become an epidemic in the U.S.

Today you can’t watch the news on television or visit a news outlet’s website without reading something fresh on the Ebola virus and the danger it poses to the American population. Indeed, if someone only recently decided to tune in to the news, he would be under the impression that Ebola was an epidemic running rampant across the nation. Googling Ebola yields words like “fear,” “crisis,” “anxiety,” “panic” and “outbreak” abundantly in the headlines. I understand that views make ad revenue, but it’s time to cease the fear mongering.


We all need to come together

The Editorial Board would like to extend its heartfelt condolences and support to the family and friends of Yangkai Li. It is always incredibly sad to see a young person’s life end before their time, and this circumstance is no different.


Mental health services are here for the community

Anytime we lose a member of our community, we grieve. Yangkai Li was a member of our community, and we are grieving. Family, friends and faculty members who knew him are left wondering whether there was anything they could have done or said that might have made even the slightest difference. They ask themselves if they missed any signs.



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