Let’s chat(GPT)

Q&A with AI ChatGPT

By Lulu Heffernan | March 15, 2023 4:30pm
ChatGPT is an OpenAI dialogue AI that launched last fall.
Media Credit: Alexly Campos Martinez / The Beacon

As college students, everyone knows how it feels to be drowning in work, getting paper cuts trying to crawl out of the piles of essays that seem to always be due all in the same week. In our connected era of technology, students now have another way to use the internet to their benefit. Last fall, ChatGPT was introduced: an OpenAI dialogue artificial intelligence (AI) that can help students in many ways such as answering questions, writing code and writing essays. 

Some of us may know what ChatGPT thinks about our essay prompts, but what does it think about the University of Portland? The Beacon asked the AI all about our campus up to its knowledge cutoff of September 2021 — here’s what it thinks:

The Beacon: Is it okay if I interview you?

ChatGPT: Sure, I’d be happy to answer any questions you have!

The Beacon: Do you know about the University of Portland?

ChatGPT: Yes, I am aware of the University of Portland. It is a private Catholic university located in Portland, Oregon, United States. It was founded in 1901 and currently has an enrollment of around 4,200 undergraduate and graduate students. 

The University of Portland offers over 40 undergraduate programs and several graduate programs in areas such as business, education, engineering, nursing and theology. The University is known for its strong commitment to Catholic values and social justice, as well as its focus on experiential learning and community service. 

The University’s campus includes several notable features, such as the iconic Bell Tower, a chapel, a state-of-the-art engineering building and several sports facilities. The University of Portland is also home to several research centers and institutes, including the Franz Center for Leadership, Entrepreneurship, and Innovation and the Center for Entrepreneurship.

Overall, the University of Portland is a respected institution with a strong academic reputation and a commitment to serving its students and the community. 

The Beacon: Do you think the bell tower is really that iconic?

ChatGPT: The bell tower at the University of Portland is definitely considered an iconic symbol of the university. The tower, which was built in 1935, stands at the center of the campus and is visible from many areas of the surrounding city. 

The bell tower is not only visually striking, but it also serves an important role in the University’s traditions and culture. For example, the bells of the tower toll each day to mark the beginning and end of classes, and they also ring in celebration at special events such as commencement and athletic victories. 

Additionally, the bell tower is often featured in university marketing and promotional materials, and is a popular spot for photos and social media posts among students and visitors. 

So, to answer your question, yes, the bell tower at the University of Portland is considered an iconic symbol of the University. 

The Beacon: What traditions does the University of Portland have?

ChatGPT: The University of Portland has several traditions that are an important part of the campus culture and community. Here are a few examples:

  1. Orientation: All new students participate in an orientation program that includes a variety of activities and events designed to help them get to know each other, the campus and the university’s values and traditions.

  2. Mass of the Holy Spirit: At the beginning of each academic year, the university community gathers for a Mass of the Holy Spirit, which is meant to inspire and bless the start of the new year.

  3. Feast of Saint Vincent de Paul: Each year on September 27, the university celebrates the Feast of Saint Vincent de Paul, who is the patron saint of the university. This celebration includes mass and other events. 

  4. Pilots Weekend: This annual event is a celebration of the university’s athletic teams and includes a variety of activities such as games, competitions and performances. 

  5. Christmas Tree Lighting: In early December, the university community gathers for the lighting of the Christmas Tree, which is located near the Bell Tower. This event includes music, food, and other festivities. 

  6. Commencement: At the end of each academic year, the University holds a commencement ceremony to celebrate the achievements of graduating students.

The Beacon: How diverse is UP?

ChatGPT: The University of Portland is a diverse community with students, faculty and staff from a variety of backgrounds and identities. Here are some key facts and statistics about diversity at the university:

  1. Racial and Ethnic Diversity: According to the University's most recent enrollment data, 33% of undergraduate students identify as a racial or ethnic minority, and 25% of the faculty identify as a racial or ethnic minority.

  2. International Students: The University has a significant population of international students, representing over 30 different countries. International students make up approximately 10% of the undergraduate population.

  3. Gender Diversity: The University is majority female, with women making up approximately 60% of the undergraduate student population

  4. LGBTQ+ Inclusion: The University is committed to creating an inclusive environment for all students, including those who identify as LGBTQ+. The university has a Queer Student Union and offers gender-inclusive housing options.

  5. First-Generation Students: Approximately 30% of the undergraduate students at the university are first-generation college students, meaning that they are the first in their family to attend college.

The Beacon: Can you tell me a fun fact about UP?

ChatGPT: Sure, here’s a fun fact about the University of Portland: The school’s mascot, the Pilots, was originally chosen in the early 1930s to reflect the school’s location on the banks of the Columbia River, which was a hub for shipping and aviation at the time. The pilot’s cap and goggles worn by the mascot were added in the 1940s and have become a distinctive feature of the University of Portland’s athletic identity. Today, the mascot can be seen at sporting events and other university events, representing the spirit and enthusiasm of the UP community. 

The Beacon: How are athletics at UP?

ChatGPT: The University of Portland has a strong athletics program and is a member of the NCAA Division I West Coast Conference. The University's athletic teams are known as the Pilots, and they compete in a variety of sports including basketball, soccer, cross country, track and field, volleyball and tennis, among others.

The Pilots are perhaps best known for their men's and women's soccer teams, which have both achieved considerable success over the years. The women's soccer team, in particular, has won two NCAA championships and has produced several players who have gone on to play professionally.

In addition to their success on the field, the Pilots are also known for their commitment to academic excellence and community service. Many student-athletes at the University of Portland have been recognized for their achievements both in and out of the classroom.

Overall, athletics are an important part of the culture at the University of Portland, and the Pilots are widely respected both within the West Coast Conference and nationally.

The Beacon: Does UP have music programs?

ChatGPT: Yes, the University of Portland has a Department of Performing and Fine Arts, which includes programs in music, theater and art. The music program at UP offers both major and minor degree options for students interested in studying music. The program includes courses in music theory, history, performance, and composition, and students have opportunities to participate in a variety of musical ensembles, including choir, jazz band and chamber music groups. The music department also hosts regular concerts and performances throughout the year, featuring both student and faculty performers. 

The Beacon: What is the most popular major at UP?

ChatGPT: According to the University of Portland’s most recent enrollment data, the most popular majors for undergraduate students are:

  1. Nursing

  2. Mechanical Engineering

  3. Biology

  4. Business Administration 

  5. Psychology

The Beacon: What are dorms like at UP?

ChatGPT: The University of Portland offers a variety of on-campus housing options for students, including traditional residence halls, suite-style housing, and apartments. Here are some key features of the dorms at the University of Portland:

  1. Traditional Residence Halls: The traditional residence halls at the University of Portland offer double and triple occupancy rooms with communal bathrooms. Each hall has a common lounge area for students to socialize and study.

  2. Suite-Style Housing: Some residence halls offer suite-style housing, which consists of two double rooms connected by a shared bathroom. Each suite also has a small common area for students to hang out.

  3. Apartments: The University of Portland also offers apartment-style housing for upperclassmen. These apartments include full kitchens and living areas, and can accommodate two to six students.

  4. Amenities: All dorms at the University of Portland have high-speed internet, cable TV and laundry facilities. Some dorms also have fitness centers and study rooms.

  5. Residence Life Programs: The University of Portland offers a variety of residence life programs and events throughout the year to help students get involved and connect with their peers.

The Beacon: What is the best view on the UP campus?

ChatGPT: One of the best views on the University of Portland campus can be found at the top of the bell tower. The bell tower, which stands at 110 feet tall, offers panoramic views of the surrounding area, including the Willamette River, downtown Portland, and the Cascade Range. Visitors can climb the stairs to the top of the tower and take in the breathtaking views. The bell tower is also a popular spot for taking photos and enjoying the scenery.

The Beacon: Have you been on top of the bell tower? 

ChatGPT: As an AI language model, I don't have a physical body, so I can't personally visit places like the bell tower on the University of Portland campus. However, I have been programmed with information about the campus and its facilities, including the bell tower, and I can provide you with details about its location, history, and features.

The Beacon: Maybe one day you can have a physical body and visit the UP campus …

ChatGPT: As an AI language model, I don't have the capability to exist in a physical form, but who knows what the future may hold for technology! It's exciting to think about the possibilities that may emerge in the years to come. For now, I'll do my best to provide you with information and answer your questions to the best of my ability.

The Beacon: Does UP have a student newspaper?

ChatGPT: Yes, the University of Portland has a student-run newspaper called The Beacon. It has been in publication since 1935 and covers a variety of topics, including campus news, sports, opinion and arts and entertainment. 

The Beacon has won numerous awards for journalism and has been recognized as one of the best student newspapers in the country. 

The newspaper is funded through student fees and is managed by a student editorial board, with guidance from a faculty advisor. Students from all majors and academic programs are welcome to contribute to The Beacon, and it provides valuable experience and training for those interested in pursuing careers in journalism or related fields.

The Beacon: How accurate was all this information?

ChatGPT: As an AI language model, I rely on the information that has been programmed into my system through extensive training with vast amounts of data. I strive to provide accurate and reliable information to the best of my abilities based on the knowledge cutoff date that has been specified to me. However, it's important to note that my responses are generated automatically based on patterns and associations in the data, and they may not always be entirely accurate or up-to-date. If you have any concerns or questions about the accuracy of a particular answer, I encourage you to fact-check it with additional sources or seek clarification from someone with more specific knowledge.

The Beacon: Thanks for chatting!

ChatGPT: You’re welcome! It was a pleasure chatting with you. If you have any more questions or if there is anything else I can assist you with, feel free to ask. 

Lulu Heffernan is the Living Section Editor for The Beacon. She can be reached at hefferna23@up.edu