Johns Hopkins Gazette: February 6, 1995

Joey Crawford Plans to Work on Campus-wide Issues

By Mike Gluck

     William Joseph Crawford Jr. takes pride in the fact that
he's a Midwesterner, raised in a suburb of Columbus, Ohio, a
place where, as he notes, "people say pop instead of soda."
     But "Joey," as he's known around campus, has more on his
mind than soft drinks. In addition to being involved in the Black
Student Union and the Hopkins chapter of the NAACP, last fall
Crawford ran a successful campaign to become president of the
largest freshman class in the history of the university.
     "I'm not that shy of a person," he explained, when telling
why he decided to run for class president. His philosophy was
that even if he didn't win, at least he would meet lots of
     As president of the Class of '98, Crawford plans to address
issues such as the quality of food offered in campus dining halls
and the possible "round-the-clock" availability of teaching
assistants for certain courses. While he participated in student
government at his high school, he enjoys the challenge of dealing
with more substantive issues that affect the whole Hopkins
communi-ty, citing as examples the recent controversies regarding
R.O.T.C. and Professor Robert Gordon. 
     In addition to representing his class, an activity that he
hopes to continue in future years, Crawford is the only
undergraduate serving on the Presidential Search Committee, the
group formed to select a replacement for outgoing President
William C. Richardson.
     While some students, particularly upperclassmen, have
questioned the choice of a freshman for the committee, Crawford
sees his youth and teenage perspective as assets that will enable
him to help choose a president who will serve future generations
of Hopkins undergraduates. Crawford believes that he has spent
sufficient time at Hopkins to know the concerns of students, and
that one's experience is "pretty much the same" whether that
person is a freshman or a senior. 
     Crawford also noted that, as a freshman, he will have the
most potential contact with the incoming president. This
viewpoint was echoed by Robert Massa, associate dean for
enrollment management, who said that he was encouraged by Joey's
place on the committee, as a freshman who has more at stake than
does an upperclassman concerning the selection of a president for
the university.   
     Despite the fact that Crawford is one of the most prominent
black leaders on campus, he is uneasy when asked to speak about
the black freshman class in general, and rejected the notion that
he serves as a role model for other black students.
     "I'm no different than any other student on this campus,"
Crawford said. He noted that each student was admitted to Hopkins
on the basis of individual worth, and that the Hopkins atmosphere
allows students to contribute as much or as little to Homewood as
they desire. "We're all just doing our own thing right now."    
     Perhaps his reluctance to classify others stems from his own
varied background. In high school, where his graduating class
consisted of 74 students, Crawford ran track, played soccer, was
vice president of student council and participated in musicals,
orchestra (as a flutist) and a barbershop quartet.
     "I always had different interests in a wide range of
things," he said. "I would run from track practice to Oklahoma!
     While these activities would be more than enough to fill
most teens' calendars, Crawford also managed to establish a 
Habitat for Humanity chapter at his high school. He boasted that
membership in that branch, of which he was president, nearly
equaled that of the nearby Ohio State University chapter. 
     But for now, Crawford seems resigned, if not completely
content, to focus on his studies as an international relations
     "I find myself wanting to do everything," he said. His plans
to enter the political arena after college--he already peppers
his speech with phrases such as "microcosm of the macrocosm"--
will have to wait. Crawford wants to enjoy life as a Hopkins
freshman first. 
     As he continues to influence Hopkins, Hopkins seems to be
having an influence on him as well. Crawford's latest endeavor?
In the tradition of perhaps thousands of freshmen before him, he
has taken to the Freshman Quad, stick in hand, to learn how to
play lacrosse. You may not see him under the lights at Homewood
field anytime soon, but this freshman promises to remain in the

Enrolling of African American Freshmen Successful

     Joey Crawford is just one of 68 black freshmen who came to
Hopkins last fall as part of the largest freshman class ever to
enroll at Hopkins. This is also the largest number of black
freshmen in the history of the university, said Robert Massa,
associate dean for enrollment management.
     "Clearly there has been a growth in the number of black
freshmen who have enrolled at Hopkins during the past five
years," Dr. Massa said. He sees the rising number of black
students as the result of a concerted effort on the part of
Admissions to increase the number of black applicants.
     Last year's applicant pool included more than 550 black
students, which Dr. Massa noted was the largest number ever.    
     Many of the efforts to recruit black students are undertaken
by the Admissions Office in cooperation with the Black Student
Union, said Paul White, director of undergraduate admissions. 
     For example, the Admissions Office coordinates
phone-a-thons, during which BSU members contact black high school
students who have been admitted to Hopkins but have not yet made
their final college choice. 
     Events such as annual phone-a-thons and the Discovery
Weekend (when black freshmen are invited to spend a spring
weekend on campus) allow current students to "speak honestly and
frankly" with prospective freshmen concerning undergraduate life
at the university, said BSU president Kenneth Anderson.
     Charles Sydnor, BSU admissions chairman, added that talking
with black students at Hopkins and experiencing campus life for a
weekend help the decisions of some pre-freshmen in choosing a
     One reason behind the targeted efforts to recruit black (and
other underrepresented) undergraduates is that the larger numbers
help students to feel more a part of a community at Hopkins, Dr.
Massa said.
     "Part of our job is to try to make Hopkins a place where
people are included rather than excluded," Dr. Massa added.

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