Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
March 1, 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.



Letter: Hopkins’s involvement with drones is wrong

Jacob Grunberger is right. JHU’s involvement in drone warfare is wrong, and we must do something about it. His proposal for compensating the victims of American drone attacks is worthwhile. Unfortunately, the Obama Administration tries to shield drone warfare from scrutiny or criticism, treats the communities under attack with astonishing disregard and would likely embargo aid under the pretenses of the “War on Terror.” But, as Mr. Grunberger suggests, we have a unique opportunity to promote peace, transparency and the rule of law.


Letter: Why was Santorum invited to Hopkins?

Santorum has made a career out of his hateful ideas, especially toward the LGBT community. As a (former) Senator, he has been privileged to put his thought into policy on a national level, and the anti-LGBT policies of Santorum and his fellows have been measurably destructive for the lives of LGBT Americans.


Give the floor to both viewpoints

The Judiciary Committee of the Student Government Association (SGA) decided Wednesday to grant official group status to the pro-life organization Voice for Life (VFL). The Committee’s ruling overturns a March decision by the SGA Senate, which denied VFL’s application for approval as a student group. As an official advocacy and awareness group, VFL now enjoys all Student Activity Commission (SAC) privileges. The group can freely use the Hopkins logo and name, has the opportunity to rent official Hopkins vans and can apply to receive monthly SAC grants and other funds from the University.


What Obama's controversial comment means and why it matters

This past week, President Obama received a lot of criticism for commenting on the attractiveness of California Attorney General Kamala Harris. “She’s brilliant and she’s dedicated, she’s tough,” Obama said at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser. “She also happens to be by far the best-looking attorney general in the country,” he then added.


Too much pollution? Raise gas prices

One of the greatest contributing factors to pollution in America today is the persistent struggle of multiple parties to keep gas prices as low as possible. The United States and its citizens will not change until their hands are forced, until the struggle is to raise gas prices.


The pitfalls of talking about America in the Middle East

Discussing the U.S. government’s actions and policies in the Middle East is tough. People get uneasy, emotional and defensive. It becomes difficult to stand your ground and avoid coming across as either an American apologist or an anti-American zealot. Perhaps a conspiracy theory or a distasteful tirade gets thrown into the mix. Chances are someone is going to get angry.


Taking a fresh look at the Voice for Life debate

Last week, Voice For Life (VFL) was denied official group status by the Student Government Association (SGA). Despite the number of students who consider this a free speech issue, let us set the record straight. Hopkins is a private university and thus operates under a different set of rules from public universities. Even if this is not a free speech issue, I feel that there has been a lot of information being misunderstood on both sides of the pro-life and pro-choice debate. Therefore, let us dissect some of the arguments in favor of and against VFL.


Crisis of confidence: Time to listen to the faculty

During spring break, I spent time with two of my brothers and my father, all of whom graduated from New York University. The highly controversial issue revolving around the faculty’s disapproval of the university’s president, John Sexton, has thus been pressing on my mind. Naturally, I was curious about what would cause such infighting, so I set out to do some research.


SGA Election Endorsements

Every year, after reviewing the platforms and conducting interviews of each candidate running for SGA Executive Board, The News-Letter Editorial Board determines which candidates to endorse. The Editorial Board chooses to endorse the candidates that best suit the position, provide the most relevant experience and demonstrate a plan for achieving success and enacting change.


Letter: SGA Exec Board Platforms Live in Hopkins Bubble

This Friday, students will start voting for next year's SGA Executive Board. Two major tickets are running for the four spots of President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer: the ticket of Anovick, Bonsu, Gorman, and D'Annibale, and the ticket of Schupper, Paul, Whiteaker, & Toomre.


Letter: News-Letter was right two years ago regarding freedom of speech

 Last week, the editorial board of The Johns Hopkins News-Letter claimed that the protest plans of the proposed student group Voice for Life (VFL) are “not a matter of freedom of speech,” arguing that students “should not be forced to view images of fetuses on school property.” The editorial board asserted that allowing this activity would violate JHU’s anti-harassment policy because it is “so severe or pervasive that it … creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive working or academic environment.”


Letter: VFL is a Freedom of Speech issue

A recent News-Letter Editorial argued that the VFL case “is not a matter of freedom of speech,”because “the SGA is not forbidding group members from voicing their opinions.” Certainly, legal first amendment rights are not at stake. However, any school policy which selectively bans speech due to its perceived offensiveness is inherently a free speech issue. Furthermore, several clauses in the SGA constitution seem to preclude viewpoint discrimination within SGA affairs. By asserting that student group recognition decisions depend on the content or delivery of the applicant group’s opinions, both the SGA and the university are indeed contradicting their stated commitments to free speech.




Just compensation: Hopkins should aid victims of drones

With the recent confirmation of John Brennan as director of the CIA, the use of unmanned aerial drones has once again become the international relations topic du jour. Many Americans are expressing a belief that the unchecked application of drones is one that is not without its externalities at home and abroad.


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.