This year, the four of us have served as co-presidents of Students Against Sexual Assault as well as your Student Body President and Vice President. In these positions, we have been privileged to see advocates at the frontlines of important issues on campus – equity, inclusion, sexual assault prevention, mental health, and so much more. As we leave UP, however, we want to share our stories of student advocacy with the community in the hope that more of us will critically engage with this institution and recognize areas where change is necessary. We write this article because we believe the community we love deserves to know what kinds of conversations and initiatives are happening behind the scenes and we strongly believe that we are all entitled to transparency and openness.
The Associated Students of the University of Portland — we might be a name that you’ve heard in passing or an organization that you may have not had a meaningful relationship with during your time on The Bluff. But if you’ve ever enjoyed an Italian soda at Espresso UP, watched Crazy Rich Asians and other popular movies on campus through ASUP Films, had the time of your life at Rock the Bluff, or participated in any recognized club on campus, you may be surprised to find out that ASUP has actually played a bigger role than you imagined in your life at UP.
Hey everyone! Michael Gallagher here, your ASUP Vice President. Y’all know what gets me excited? Free things. Sure, this is the everlasting college student trope, but I might as well lean into it. So, what is the free thing that warrants a whole Beacon opinion piece? Will I ever stop with these rhetorical questions? The answer is Free STI Testing at the Health and Counseling Center (and the second answer is no, I won’t stop), brought to you by ASUP and Multnomah County.