By Ceillie Keane
Union’s yearbook, The Garnet, is currently defunct, according to Kerrie Wolf, Assistant Director of Student Activities. The yearbook has been published on an annual basis since 1877, with the exception of a “transitional period” in 1892 and the aftermaths of World War II in 1946. Right now, it looks as though 2011 may be added to this short list of absences.
The Yearbook Club is responsible for the production of The Garnet. Just like any other club on campus, it requires dedicated members.
“If the leadership doesn’t exist, the club tends to fail,” said Wolf. Right now, it appears as if Yearbook Club has failed. This uncertain state of what Wolf describes as “not a very functional club,” however, is nothing new.
Wolf noted a general lack of interest in the publication in general, citing that only half the class is normally pictured in the yearbook because only about half the class is willing to sit for the picture. This situation has continued to occur despite the fact that the sitting is free of charge and there is no obligation to buy anything afterwards—even the yearbook itself. Though the publication itself costs around $40,000 or $200 per book, the yearbook has always been sold at a discounted rate of $60, $10, or even given away for free. However, even this incentive was unable to promote the interest the publication as needed.
In addition to a lack of student interest, leadership is also majorly lacking in the organization. Since the yearbook pertains exclusively to the senior class, the overwhelming majority of those involved in its production have been seniors.
The book is traditionally finished after graduation, in order to include the event but since Wolf has been at Union, this post-graduation finishing has never been completed on time for each graduating class—the publication often does not come out as expected in the fall and is more likely to be released in the winter or even spring of the following year.
Currently, the last class year to have a yearbook was 2009. Interest in the compilation of the 2010 class yearbook came late last year. Due to the time gap and late start, Wolf states that yearbook for the Class of 2010 is still in the process of being assembled and will hopefully be released as a publication.
Currently, there are no staff in place to work on the yearbook for the class of 2011. No one took an interest in the club last spring or filled out a budget proposal in order to get the necessary funding for a publication this year. Thus, not only does the yearbook have no interest or leadership, it also has no budget.
Wolf has stated that the failure of the club is not necessarily irreversible. On the contrary, if interest and leadership were to appear, the yearbook could likely be a publication.
Wolf explains that a digital publication or Snapfish collection of memories would be a possible, less expensive option. By appealing to Student Forum, Wolf states that funding for a publication is also within reason.
This revival of the yearbook club is only a possibility if people have a desire to publish a yearbook commemoration.
Wolf states that “people need to decide” whether the senior class wants the annual yearbook or not.
Based on the club’s current nonexistent status, it appears that the yearbook will taking a hiatus.