Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
September 20, 2020

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.



THE PUBLIC EDITOR: On curating a dialogue through the permanence of the printed word

The News-Letter got a letter to the editor this week. It’s the first in quite a while — the first this calendar year, actually. In the last two years, the paper has only received 11 letters to the editor, three of which responded to a particularly spicy op-ed arguing that conservatives’ free speech was under attack. This made me wonder: what exactly is a letter to the editor?


EDA INCEKARA/PHOTO EDITOR
Lee, a sophomore who transferred to Hopkins, reflects upon the experience of applying and being rejected from student groups.

What I learned from student club rejections

Why does this damn school make us apply for clubs, anyways?” I thought to myself. The systematic, pre-professional style of going about extracurriculars felt both foreign and stifling. Shouldn’t these activities be fun? And maybe, a little bad. But definitely fun, right? Bad fun isn’t allowed here, I guess. It’s understandable. Bad fun is now for dimly lit Friday nights and frat parties.


Why do big donors hold so much sway over politicians?

In the third Democratic debate, the top 10 candidates went after each other’s policy proposals for either being too ambitious or not ambitious enough. The progressives on the stage, Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, explained how Medicare for All would bring down the cost of health care. Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Amy Klobuchar attacked progressive proposals and made the pitch for a return to centrism. Senator Kamala Harris and Mayor Pete Buttigieg positioned themselves as the middle ground candidates with their compromise solutions. 




COURTESY OF LAIS SANTORO
Student protestors participating in last week’s Global Climate Strike in Washington, DC.

How young people will fight climate change

I was on the Charm City Circulator on my way to Inner Harbor on Friday, Sept. 19, when I overheard a conversation about the climate strikes that happened that day. A passenger on the bus said something along the lines of, “Now don’t get me wrong, I believe in climate change and all that and something needs to be done about it. But I just don’t understand what striking from school is going to do, I don’t think it’s effective.” Valid. 


PUBLIC DOMAIN
The 2019 Hong Kong protests have been ongoing since June 9.

We must stand in solidarity with Hong Kong

As long as the erosion of human rights in Hong Kong continue, the region’s already 16-week long summer of discontent will go on well into the fall. Approaching October 1 — the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China — Hong Kong authorities face mounting pressure from Beijing to utilize stronger state force to quell unrest. Last Tuesday, Hong Kong student activist Joshua Wong testified at a U.S. Congressional hearing, noting that the “stakes have never been higher.’’ As crackdowns on the city’s autonomy and civil liberties continue, Hopkins students must stand in solidarity with the students of Hong Kong.


Hopkins must do more to support its student groups

Hopkins prides itself on offering students the opportunity to pursue their passions, whatever they may be. On campus tours, guides promise prospective students that it is easy to join student groups or start their own clubs and organizations. The Campus Life page on the University’s website depicts Hopkins as a place where students can pursue their diverse backgrounds and interests, whether they’re into “singing or kayaking, taking pictures or building robots, discussing international relations or playing Quidditch.” 


We need a moderate Democrat to defeat Trump

What makes a good presidential candidate? Someone who is honest and keeps their promises? A person who is constantly seeking the best for this country? There are a lot of factors that come to mind when deciding if someone will be successful in the race for president. But in this particular election, where the Democratic National Committee (DNC) has a clear, common goal, the best Democratic nominee must be a candidate that can take the presidency from U.S. President Donald Trump. 


THE PUBLIC EDITOR: Recapturing visual storytelling at The News-Letter

Let me set a scene: It’s late on a Wednesday night at the Gatehouse, the little cottage at the bottom corner of campus where The News-Letter happens. News editors have just begun to lay out their pages, and have realized that they don’t have enough photos. Let the brainstorming begin — run across campus to snap a quick pic of such-and-such building even though it’s dark. Pester writers to see if they took any photos. When in doubt, use a file photo of the Gilman clock tower.


PUBLIC DOMAIN
Shade argues that Americans must always endeavor to protect the Constitution.

On Constitution Day, keep in mind the document’s fragility

Once per year, on Sept. 17, the United States quietly marks what might be its most underrated holiday. No, I don’t mean International Country Music Day (though I’ll admit that I was looking forward to that for weeks). I’m talking about the commemoration of the document that lies at the core of our national identity: the Constitution of the United States.




How Chinese optimism may lessen world conflict

The world seems to step into an “illness” of conflicts. This illness applies to disorder, emotional opposition and hatred among people, regions and governments. It not only leads to economic recession, but also results in increasingly more aggressive politics.


FLICKR/PUBLIC DOMAIN
Maras argues that planning to fight climate change should be prioritized by all politicians.

Climate change must be taken seriously, regardless of politics

Climate change is real. There is an objective, sweeping consensus throughout the scientific community that human activity is substantially responsible for the gradual warming of planet Earth. No longer do we have time to dispute the validity of this claim; this has no business being the argument that drives the climate change discussion anymore


How will Hopkins implement changes without consistent leadership?

The start of a new school year typically brings several changes to campus. This year, however, marks the beginning of some particularly dramatic changes. Most notably, while a student center will not be around for years to come, we are finally in the beginning stages of designing one. And despite widespread pushback from students and communities, the University will begin implementing a private police force. 





News-Letter Special Editions