Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
July 8, 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.



Our SGA executive election endorsements

This past year, the Student Government Association (SGA) has had both triumphs and tribulations. SGA members have campaigned for years for a student center, and this month they realized that goal when the University announced that one will be built by 2024. SGA also hosted its inaugural Mental Health Summit to address the lack of mental health resources on campus. Beginning in the fall, around 2,000 undergraduates responded to an SGA-led referendum on campus issues. These are some of SGA’s successes from the past year.


STEPHEN MCCARTHY / CC BY 2.0

Noting the rise of Asian politicians like Andrew Yang, Fang hopes Asian-Americans will play a greater role in shaping U.S. politics.

Making political action a Subtle Asian Trait

Subtle Asian Traits might be the biggest social media phenomenon you’ve never heard of. When a joke Facebook group started by a few Chinese-Australian high schoolers exploded to 1.2 million members within a few months, some people were bound to be left behind.


LORIE SHAULL / CC BY-SA 2.0

Wu believes the House should take stronger action against Representative Ilhan Omar.

House anti-hate resolution fails the Jewish community

Last Thursday, the House of Representatives passed House Resolution 183 (H.R. 183), the “anti-hate” resolution condemning discrimination toward a wide variety of “traditionally persecuted peoples,” by an overwhelming majority of 407-23. 


Our hopes for a student center

Having unparalleled access to research opportunities is not the only unique part of attending Hopkins. We also have several campus traditions like watching fireworks at Lighting of the Quads each December and celebrating the arrival of warm weather at Spring Fair, the largest student-run festival in the country. These things set Hopkins apart from other schools and make our time here memorable. Yet, since as long as we have known, another unique thing comes to mind about Hopkins: our lack of an official student center. We may have dedicated “student union” spaces in Levering Hall or the LaB, but unlike many other colleges and universities, we don’t have a singular building packed with social spaces and resources. 


MARYBEL LE PAPE / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Peoples argues that Hollywood needs more multiracial lead roles played by multiracial actors.

Asians are becoming more visible. What about biracials?

This past year we’ve seen something that’s rarely seen in Hollywood: roles for Asian Americans (well, at least East Asian Americans). Movies like To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and Crazy Rich Asians have both featured Asian actors in both leading and supporting roles and made important steps in increasing Asian representation in Hollywood.


The fight for a student center is not over

As someone who has been working on the student center initiative for over a year, I was disappointed by the way the announcement on Tuesday night was handled. While the University celebrated and announced that they had finally nailed down a donor, filling the Beach with food trucks and seesaws to win a large crowd for their thank you video, the lack of communication about what the student center entailed left students with pressing and important questions. 


This year's Oscars, and why the stories we tell and celebrate matter

Some people might dismiss the importance of the Oscars, criticizing the Academy members for not only being predominantly white, but also superficial and elitist —  for nominating films touted by critics and professionals rather than those that everyday people know and love. But despite the faults we may find in the Oscars, they still matter. The awards influence our own opinions on which films are worth seeing, on the films and filmmakers that we choose to support. They determine who we look up to and which stories are deemed culturally significant to our society at the time. 


FILE PHOTO

Crum urges students to prioritize their mental health to improve Hopkins work culture.

Students, stop perpetuating our toxic culture of overwork

Sapere aude!” Immanuel Kant screams at me from his essay on enlightenment. “Have the courage to think for yourself.”  I look up from my desk on D-Level and feel the bones in my neck crack. It’s been a while since I’ve seen the sun, so I’m pretty sure you can use the fluorescent lights to see through my skin and into my vital organs. 


Why Hopkins should keep its contracts with ICE

When we think of the impacts of U.S. President Donald Trump’s immigration policies, the imagery is impossible to ignore. Who could forget the sound of children crying for their parents while U.S. government officials laugh or the sight of barbed wire strung along fences just feet from citizens’ private homes? Almost universally, these images stir passion and anger. 


WHOISJOHNGALT / CC BY-SA 4.0

Opponents of affirmative action argue that it discriminates against Asian-Americans.

How affirmative action has benefitted Asian-Americans

When I first heard of the square-off between Students for Fair Admissions against Harvard, I instantly sent the CNN article announcing the court case to my high-schooler of a cousin saying that even though I couldn’t do it, he at least had a “wayyyy” better chance now. Outwardly, I would flaunt my disapproval at Edward Blum plastering an Asian face on his conservative anti-affirmative action program. Deep down, however, I thought that if Blum’s case made it to the Supreme Court, my fellow Asians would likely get better chances at the Ivy League.


Sexual assault, hazing, death: Is this the cost of brotherhood?

It’s February, which means that many fraternities and sororities at Hopkins and at other colleges nationwide have just recruited their newest pledge class. To those new recruits, we extend our congratulations. Many students find a sense of community and lifelong friendships in the Greek organization to which they belong. But to those of you who’ve joined fraternities, we’d also like to express our concerns. 


Gun control alone won’t reduce gun violence

Last week, on the anniversary of the Parkland shooting, media outlets reflected on the strides in gun control that we’ve made as a result of the survivors’ movement. I want to add to the conversation by reflecting on what we can do better as we go forward.


How dating apps promote sexual racism

I am not your Korean fetish.” That was the Tinder bio I wrote last summer, which came with some decent pictures of myself and a surprise painting of Judith slaying Holofernes. A not-so-subtle finger to the patriarchy. 



To effect long-term change, SGA should focus on realistic initiatives

Next week, the Student Government Association (SGA) will hold an impeachment trial against Executive President Noh Mebrahtu behind closed doors. SGA members introduced articles of impeachment at their latest weekly meeting, but not before telling one of our reporters to leave the room. That same day, SGA sent an email advertising a Students Against Private Police rally with the subject line “ICE Protest Tomorrow!” And last semester, it had to pass a bill to stop members from using social media, texting, web surfing and shopping during meetings. 


FILE PHOTO

Kim argues that discouraging students from using elements of fantasy in their stories is constraining for aspiring writers of color.

Fantasy matters. Just ask writers of color.

In high school I nursed wild ambitions of publishing a fantasy novel. The plot was muddy, but I knew my heroine. Her name was Elizia. She was a woman of color, and she spoke with all the outrageous, cringeworthy angst of a Brontë character. She was brave and intelligent and a born leader, a liberator of women and the poor who also dabbled with sorcery. 


PUBLIC DOMAIN

Shade hopes Republicans will follow in the footsteps of leaders like Reagan and Bush.

Democrats aren’t a solution to Trump. Republicans are.

For centuries, the world’s oldest democracy has depended on a productive tension between two major parties. When the political pendulum in Washington swings from right to left and back again, the minority party knows that they will get another turn. Historically the ruling party likewise recognized that they would soon be in the minority, and this led to a government of restraint — one which prioritized stability and order over short-term policy victories. The two-party system enabled Americans across the political spectrum to trust that their representatives would act in good faith. 


In the fight against climate change, remember its effects on minorities

Although people of color and those who live in low-income communities generally have the lowest carbon footprint, they often live in areas with the worst air quality and are most susceptible to flooding or other weather hazards. Meanwhile, those of us who have done the most to aggravate climate change – higher-income individuals, mega-corporations and business magnates – have the resources to avoid the consequences of our actions. 


STEPHANIE LEE / PHOTOGRAPHY STAFF

Students have called for the administration to end its contracts with ICE since 2018.

We must continue to oppose the University’s ICE contracts

As we begin Black History Month, it is an optimal time to reflect on the noble efforts of African Americans to gain legal and constitutional rights for minorities during the Civil Rights Movement. While considering the actions taken by the brave men and women of this community, it is important for us to note that the success of the movement was partially due to the influential work of students. From participating in walkouts and sit-ins to organizing and leading protests, youth helped to spearhead the Civil Rights Movement.


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