Let’s be honest: The first week of classes felt like a blur. Students are still getting used to their schedules, adapting to communal living, and are continuing to learn how to navigate UP as their institution.
When I first started at UP as a first-generation college student, everything seemed so daunting. That was until I became a part of The Beacon community. Starting as a reporter in the spring of my freshman year, my eyes were opened to a whole new perspective on the place I called my home, the start of my higher education and new independent life.
Being a student the last three years has been a whirlwind to say the least. From surviving the stresses of the pandemic in 2020, learning how to adapt to online learning in 2021 and navigating life on the bluff after a hiatus in 2022…friends, we’ve been through a lot.
While it may have been difficult, look where we are now as we get ready to brave a new school year. To quote The Beacon’s former editor-in-chief, Austin De Dios, “Were you taking notes?”
Starting this year off under new leadership at the University is an opportunity to create dialogues that help show what UP is and is not doing for you. Finding your voice within the University can be a hard task, but The Beacon is here to help you with that.
As a student-run news organization, The Beacon provides niche information that no other news organization is going to cover with accuracy, fairness and integrity. So look at it as a vital resource, not only for students but for faculty and staff as well.
The Beacon’s purpose is to shine light on what is going on around campus. It helps inform others on aspects of the community that often go unnoticed, and it has truly been an honor to be a part of that.
As Editor-in-chief this year, I am excited and eager to take up this opportunity to make our content in tune with the UP community in ways we might have overlooked in past years.
The start of this effort began last year as De Dios set a precedent to have Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the forefront of our minds in all aspects of our storytelling. He eventually created a designated section to help uplift the voices of those who have historically gone under-represented at UP.
This year, I hope to carry on that precedent and have appointed Chiara Profenna as the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion editor. This position has been created to manage the DEI section and to bring the bigger picture to every Beacon story — while keeping in mind the ever changing dynamic of DEI etiquacy.
Last semester, we saw the University take action in the name of DEI after seeing how many people felt unsatisfied with their experience at UP. As an effort to begin mending the wounds of those who feel like they don’t belong and aren’t being heard, the University hired an outside expert on DEI in higher education. To you I say read the report and the recommendations, whether it be from the document itself or the reporting that was done on it.
Open your eyes to the perspectives of the students, faculty, and staff that spoke with Elizabeth Ortiz about their experience at this institution and ask yourself “How can we cultivate a better space for our whole community?”.
Lastly, reach out, be curious and ask questions. If you still think there is something that should be reported on, submit your own story ideas, voice your opinion or talk with a reporter or a member on the editorial board on how to become more involved.
Let’s make the most out of this year. Make your voice heard.
Brie Haro is the Editor-in-Chief of The Beacon and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org