Yearbook faces possibility of discontinuation
Published: Thursday, September 19, 2013
Updated: Thursday, September 19, 2013 17:09
ASU yearbooks have dated back to the 1920s, a little more than 20 years after the university was founded. Recently, however, students have seemingly become uninterested in these annuals and the process of picking one up. As an outcome, talk has been initiated about removing the yearbook entirely.
The conversation sparked a few years ago, once administrators began to notice a decrease in the number of annuals being picked up.
“It is expensive to make a yearbook and we have been talking for a few years about what would be better, and over the past few years we have thought the yearbook is a good thing and that’s why we have kept it.,”
Katey Provence, coordinator of student services, said. “Talk started when students didn’t pick up each yearbook.”
For the past two years the amount of yearbooks left behind has been growing, showing that students are not wanting to own one, even though the cost is included in their tuition.
Each semester students pay a $10 fee included in tuition that goes toward producing between 3,200 and 3,500 books, whereas there are approximately 13,000 students attending ASU.
Although the topic of discontinuation of a tangible yearbook has been brought up, the official judgment has not been ruled.
Resolution to this would have to pass through Student Government Association (SGA), so students will have the ability to be a part of the process and ultimate decision.
“I feel like yearbooks have their ups and downs,” Provence said . “I think that society is faster paced than the yearbook world. It’s terrible for students to have to wait an entire calendar year to see events that have happened. I’d like to come up with something that is quicker and more fast paced that better suits student.”
Digitalizing all annuals has been mentioned as an option that would better accommodate this generation.
“We are trying to figure out how to contact and reach out to our entire student body,” Provence said.
The cost is a factor in changing the yearbook and the fee may not go away completely. Instead it could go toward a different cost in the same area. It has been discussed that the annual may not completely change to digital, and might just decrease in overall size and thickness.
In a statement to The Herald, Stephen Berry, a sophomore psychology major of Mountain Home and co-editor of copy, said he was deeply saddened by the potential discontinuation of the yearbook.
“If our university is so keen on cutting costs and moving into the future, it should at least consider having a paid yearbook staff that creates an e-yearbook,” he said.
“Yearbook is just a part of college. It is a part of any school,” Kari Henderson, a senior public relations major of Bryant and co-editor of design, said about the program she has been involved in for three years. “(Yearbooks) show what you have been through.”
Most of the yearbook staff has been involved in doing annuals for years, during both high school and college.
“It is a way of carrying on a legacy. It is a good way to see what’s happened over the years and reflect on it,” Grace Winkleman, a freshman nursing student of Little Rock and the yearbook’s student life designer, said.
Yearbooks seem to be a staple in most schools, and although it may be quicker to access digitally, many students would prefer being able to have a tangible book for their rooms.
A happy medium is trying to be achieved by Provence and other administrators in this situation.
Although the yearbook hasn’t been as popular in the past, Provence said she still suspects that there will be a “mixed reaction” when it comes to the discontinuation completely.