Letter from the editor: Welcome to your Opinion section

By Dora Totoian | August 28, 2019 7:37pm

Dora Totoian is a reporter and the Opinion editor for the 2019-20 school year.

Media Credit: Annika Gordon / The Beacon

As we’ve returned to The Bluff in the past few days, you may have seen the Opinion section of The Beacon start to fill up. People have written in about the fires in the Amazon, making the most of freshman year and welcoming students to UP

“Wow!” you may think. “But I don’t have thoughts on the Amazon, and I’m not the president of the university.” 

That may be true, but if you’re reading this, you’re probably a member of the UP community, whether you’re a student, alum, professor, staff member, employee, neighbor or have some other connection to UP. Your membership in our community means that you have a stake and a voice in UP issues. And we want to hear it. 

As the Opinion editor of The Beacon for the 2019-20 school year, I officially welcome and invite you to participate in YOUR Opinion section. 

Without your submissions, the Opinion section would be merely editorials and staff opinion submissions. Interesting pieces, but not representative of the entire UP community. 

Besides being your source of hyperlocal news you can’t get anywhere else, The Beacon is also a forum to share and debate ideas, and that forum is located in the Opinion section. It’s your space to share your thoughts on campus or community issues, as well as national and international matters, if you think the UP community has a connection to and should know about them. 

A bit about the process of submitting an opinion: Opinion pieces are NOT news, living or sports articles reported by The Beacon (we conveniently label opinions “OPINION,” to avoid any confusion). Nevertheless, your information must still be accurate and truthful, and you must indicate where you found it, usually by inserting hyperlinks. Another thing: The Beacon’s publication of an opinion does NOT mean that The Beacon approves or endorses the content of that submission. Keep in mind that this is everyone’s forum. 

To submit an opinion: Click and read through “Voice Your Opinion” on our site. The submission first comes to me, and I review it and reply with any questions I may have. I will not change the content of your opinion. It then travels to the editor-in-chief and finally to the copy editor. The editor-in-chief has final say in all publication decisions. 

In my time with The Beacon, community members have used the Opinion section to provide perspectives they thought were lacking in a campus conversation, commentaries on campus culture, oft-forgotten historical knowledge they considered critical, personal experiences, highly contrasting opinions on the same topic (like this and this submission on abortion), and their takes on issues consuming campus, like the 2018 Wally Awards and a variety of other matters. 

All of those writers took the time to contribute to campus discussions and inspire or provoke us all to thinking, talking about and analyzing them. I invite you to also write in and spark similar conversations on many more topics this year. 

Dora Totoian is a reporter and the Opinion editor for The Beacon. She can be reached at totoian20@up.edu