Dora Totoian


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

Letter from the editor: Welcome to your Opinion section

As the Opinions editor of The Beacon for the 2019-20 school year, I officially welcome and invite you to participate in YOUR Opinions section.  Without your submissions, the Opinions 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 Opinions 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. 

While some praise the progress that has been made regarding diversity and inclusion, many believe there is still a need for improvement. Photo illustration by Annika Gordon.  

Diversity and inclusion progress report: INCOMPLETE

Comments about the Diversity Center mirror sentiments expressed about diversity and inclusion efforts in general. Many people noted there have been improvements, but that they’re not enough. The topic can be sensitive at UP, and some people were hesitant to talk on the record. But those who did pointed to persistent problems regarding funding, hiring of diverse faculty and the overall campus culture surrounding diversity and inclusion. 

Seniors Caroline Holyoak and Nicole Edwards have been chosen as the Valedictorians for the Class of 2019. 

University names two valedictorians for Class of 2019

The University of Portland holds two commencement ceremonies: one for the Pamplin School of Business, Shiley School of Engineering and School of Nursing and another for the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Education. The student with the highest GPA for each ceremony is chosen as the valedictorian, Provost Tom Greene said in an email to The Beacon. Edwards, with a 3.99 GPA, will speak at the first ceremony, and Holyoak, with a 4.0 GPA, will speak at the second. 

Peter Rachor has helped build the well-know Entrepreneurship Scholars program.

Director of Entrepreneurship Peter Rachor to leave UP

Peter Rachor, director of Entrepreneurship and of the university’s nationally awarded Entrepreneur Scholars program, will leave the University of Portland after this academic year. Rachor has accepted the Hynds Entrepreneurship Fellowship at the University of Auckland in New Zealand. 

The It's on Us Week of Action begins April 1 and will have events throughout the week until April 4.

SASA Week of Action to raise awareness about sexual violence

Students Against Sexual Assault (SASA) will organize its Spring Week of Action April 1 through April 4 as part of the national It’s On Us Week of Action, which aims to raise awareness about and combat the issue of sexual violence on college campuses. The event coincides with the National Sexual Assault Awareness Month and will feature a different event each day of the week.  It’s On Us was created out of recommendations from the Obama and Biden White House Task Force to Prevent Sexual Assault, and the University of Portland has been part of the It’s On Us campaign for the past two years. Part of the core message of It’s On Us is for everyone to see themselves as having a role in preventing sexual violence. For this reason, SASA organizers want everyone to participate in the Week of Action, but also to recognize when they need to take care of themselves during these events. 

Dora Totoian shares the aspects of studying abroad that people often don't show.

Staff Opinion: Study abroad isn't always tapas and traveling

Last semester, I studied abroad in Granada, Spain. And it wasn’t the glamorous experience that so often characterizes UP study abroad.  Before I left, I intentionally only gave myself the expectation of learning a lot of Spanish because I knew that if I planned to see every corner of Europe, eat all the tapas and form lifelong friendships all while learning how to dress like a fashionable European, I’d be disappointed.