Austin De Dios


Wildfires across Oregon have been raging since Monday while spreading rapidly. Photo courtesy of Carlos Fuentes.

Oregon wildfires fueled by eastern winds force thousands of evacuations

More than 300,000 acres are burning due to rapidly spreading wildfires across the state of Oregon as of Wednesday, forcing thousands of residents to evacuate their homes and killing at least two people. Nine counties have been evacuated so far, according to Statesman Journal. Oregon is not alone; unprecedented numbers of wildfires are burning across California and Washington. 

Members of the UP community who are located in Northwest Oregon and Southwest Washington should brace themselves for high winds and fire warnings tonight.

High wind and critical fire warnings issued in Greater Portland Area

High wind and critical fire warnings have been issued in Northern Oregon and Southern Washington from 5 p.m. Monday until 1 p.m. Tuesday. Members of the UP community located in these areas should be aware of “potentially historic” wind speeds, with gusts ranging 40-55 mph according to the National Weather Service (NWS) Storm Prediction Center. 

Heat death may be the inevitable end of the universe, but that doesn't mean it has to be the end of your laptop.Photo illustration by Brennan Crowder/ The Beacon

Computers get Zoom fatigue too

The reality is our computers are being used a lot more now than ever before. They have to run classes, write papers, display textbooks, host digital hangouts with friends and the list goes on. Suddenly they have to sprint the marathon of a lifetime, and not every computer (or internet connection) can keep up with the pace. So let’s break down some easy ways to help your computer make it to the finish line, and keep you from being late to class. 

A quiet UP campus lies heavy in the summer heat, awaiting details of paycuts and furloughs.

University temporarily cuts salaries, furloughs staff as COVID-19 takes financial toll

The University of Portland is temporarily cutting the pay of faculty and staff, and has furloughed some staff effective Sept. 1. Employees who were furloughed got the news from their supervisors last week. Their work schedule and commensurate pay were cut anywhere from 10% to 100% (meaning their job was temporarily eliminated). The additional pay cuts range from 3% to 20%, depending on salary level and, in some cases, position. Adjuncts and employees with an annual salary under $35,568 are exempt from the paycut.

The University of Portland announced in an email Thursday night that the fall semester, beginning Aug. 24, will be almost exclusively online.

Fall semester to be almost exclusively online

University President Fr. Mark Poorman announced in an email Thursday night that  "nearly all classes" in University of Portland’s fall semester will be exclusively online, citing the rise in COVID-19 infections in Oregon and around the country as the cause. The email also mentioned Oregon Governor Kate Brown’s announcement of new coronavirus-related metrics for reopening schools, which have led to school districts to delay in-person instruction. 

A recent petition by UP faculty and staff has demanded transparency from administration. Photo by Wikipedia Commons.

UP faculty and staff petition for transparency from outside investigation

A petition with 289 signatures from faculty and staff was sent to University President Fr. Mark Poorman and the Board of Regents in an email July 7. The petition was supporting the allegations in the opinion piece written by Vice President for Human Resources and Director of Title IX Sandy Chung, which recounted instances of racism and sexism amongst University of Portland administration.