Letters to the Editor

By The Beacon | April 19, 2012 9:00pm

Regarding Campus Ministry's displacement of The Log and The Beacon

(The Beacon)


Administration's decision 'shows lack of foresight'

As someone who spent A LOT of time in The Beacon's digs in St. Mary's, I can say with some insight that the proposed office move for The Beacon is a horrible idea.

I was the editor in chief of The Beacon from 2006-2007 and the news editor in 2005-2006. The many long nights of staff meetings, editing sessions, layout brainstorming, business management and putting the paper together were made possible by lots of coffee, pizza, passion for the work - and, last but not least - a great office to work out of.

The space to spread print out after print out of pages of copy, the ability to gather as a staff and the rows of computers that were quickly occupied on Wednesday nights were something that I admittedly took for granted when I was running the show. It seems not unreasonable, one would think, to be provided an office that fits your entire staff, if you'd like to create a tight-knit, well-oiled publication.

To hear that University leadership in operations, Student Life and Campus Ministry are re-routing the newspaper staff seems like a striking decision that they are re-routing their priorities at my beloved alma mater. The Beacon is a prize-winning publication with prize-winning staffers, and it deserves to be kept that way. The decision to smoosh The Beacon into an office that is in no way fit to handle it shows a real lack of foresight, and the forced public staff meetings would present editorial dilemmas for Beacon staff.

I hope that the readers of this letter will reconsider their decision. Future and former Beacon staff alike will applaud you for it.

-AnneMarie Ashburn, Class of 2007


It's hard to be proud of the University

As a former Beacon staff member, I was saddened to hear that the paper will soon lose its scrappy but beloved corner of St. Mary's Student Center and be forced to move to an office that's a fraction of its size.

After all, that wood-paneled, cobwebbed room is the place where I and so many other UP alumni now working as professional journalists pitched our first story ideas, designed our first pages and first experienced the newsroom camaraderie that remains one of our troubled industry's biggest charms. Many Beaconites before and after me have spent countless hours producing award-winning, professional work in that humble office, hoping to capture the attention of their peers and the respect of the university administration.

It's always been an uphill battle.

But more than anything, this most-recent incident angers me as an alumna of the University of Portland. How could I possibly be proud to have attended an institution that makes a unilateral decision taking away a huge chunk of educational space from a large group of students without first consulting said students and at least seeking their feedback?

It's either a terribly misguided or appallingly malicious move on the part of the University to allow this to happen. Whatever the reasoning behind the decision, I am confident The Beacon staffs of the future will continue to produce great work and fulfill the paper's mission of service toward the UP student population.

-Caitlin Moran, Class of 2008

Administration needs to be reminded it is here to serve the students

I just found out that the University of Portland Administration made the decision to relocate four staff members of Campus Ministry to the St. Mary's Student Center, thus forcing the 30-member Beacon staff out of their current space and into a much smaller space.

This seems nonsensical to me. Most disturbingly, this was done without any consultation of The Beacon staff and students involved with these activities. The name "Student Center" would indicate to me that use of this space would take into account the students' wishes and usage. As a parent of a UP student I find this very disturbing.

Until this is rectified, I will no longer be able to support the RISE campaign, as my wife and I have done in the past. In addition, I will be contacting others students parents and asking them to participate in this action.

 The University of Portland is there for the students ... seems that someone in administration needs to be reminded of that.

-Peter and Karen Peifer