Fiona O'Brien


Martin Luther King Jr. at the Civil Rights March on Washington D.C. in Aug. 1963 / Photo by Rowland Scherman. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

University cancels classes for day of service to honor Martin Luther King Jr. Day

For the first time at the University of Portland, classes will be canceled on Jan. 20 to honor Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The Moreau Center and the Office of Student Activities have organized a “Day On,” instead of an extra day off. They have planned service opportunities in the morning and a keynote speaker in the afternoon to carry on Martin Luther King’s legacy and vision of a just world. UP students, staff members and professors now have the opportunity to fully celebrate the day.  

Instructor Anika Sproull holds a punching bag for students to practice a palm heel strike.

Students practice empowerment and self defense

Beauchamp Recreation Center is introducing a new self-defense course geared at empowerment and building a community around safety. Two classes have already been taught this semester with one remaining on Nov. 24. Starting in Feb. 2020, there will be weekly classes. Anika Sproull, who instructs the course, is enthusiastic about teaching these classes to bring awareness to self-defense methods to campus. 

Fiona O'Brien, Beacon reporter.

STAFF OPINION: Don’t worry, just pray (pay)

My vision of religion is that it should be something personal, with a tight-knit community of people who all have similar beliefs. This is very different from a pastor leading a sermon to over 16,000 people. It’s also distressing to me the amount of money the pastors make through these services, with donations and prayer requests. I don’t think faith should be something with a price tag, it should be a journey that someone goes through to make their lives better. When people pay celebrity-like figures, it seems to skew a more pure concept of faith. 

Two political science professors, Bill Curtis and Gary Malecha, join junior Zach Sessa and news reporter Fiona O’Brien to discuss what the impeachment inquiry into President Trump means.

PODCAST: Political science professors and students break down impeachment inquiry

Two political science professors, Bill Curtis and Gary Malecha, joined junior Zach Sessa and news reporter Fiona O’Brien to discuss what this announcement actually means. Curtis and Malecha brought insights into the legalities and constitutional process while Sessa, a political science major who is interning for congressman Earl Blumenauer, gave insight into how representatives from Oregon are involved in the impeachment process.

At this time of year, students are more vulnerable to Seasonal Affective Disorder as stress from school and homesickness increases. Photo Illustration by Jennifer Ng.

Seasonal Affective Disorder: What you need to know

To many students, the transition from summer to fall means busting out sweaters, drinking apple cider and going to pumpkin patches. But in Portland, it also means more rain and less sunlight. Portland, on average only has 144 days of sunshine a year, while the U.S. average is 205 days. And with recent temperatures dropping in Portland, it’s apparent that fall is officially here. At this time, some students may start to feel a lack of motivation and overbearing fatigue, symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

UP Students smile with their handmade signs at the Portland Climate Strike.

UP community joins millions around the world for Global Climate Strike

On Friday, Sept. 20, UP students and professors packed into cars and buses set for downtown Portland to join the highly anticipated Global Climate Strike. About 6,000 people attended the Portland strike alone, but an estimated four million people participated in the strike across the world. UP community members joined strikers from cities like Melbourne, Paris, New York City and Los Angeles to demand 100% clean energy, keeping fossil fuels in the ground and helping those impacted by climate change.  

Fr. Claude with the greenery on the side of the chapel, one of his favorite places on campus.

Music department fund to memorialize Fr. Claude Pomerleau

Fr. Claude Pomerleau, a beloved political science professor, and community member will be memorialized through additions to the music department, funded by his family. The fund, in Pomerleau’s name, was given to the music department to support student musicians at UP. 

Fiona O'Brien shares why salting in the winter can cause more harm than good.

Staff Opinion: Why so salty?

Does anyone remember when Dance of the Decades was canceled because of the ‘snowpocalypse’ that was coming to Portland? Does anyone remember people buying soup and toilet paper out of Fred Meyer because of the snowstorm? And does anyone remember no snow that weekend? But does everyone remember the sidewalks being covered by pounds of salt which almost made it feel like there was snow?