Influx in Yearbook funds propels production

By Moeko Crider

The Macalester yearbook secured $5,000 in capital funds from the Macalester College Student Government (MCSG) last week. The organization, revived this fall after a hiatus, is now chartered and optimistic about what lies ahead.

With the newly acquired funds, the organization has purchased a computer, scanner, and other equipment. The yearbook hopes to help students identify with the Macalester community and to establish a new tradition of documenting it, said John Koenig ’06, who is co-editing the publication along with Ruth Chiu ’06.

“The campus is changing so fast and there is no documentation. In five years from now, people will look back and not realize what they are missing,” Koenig said. “Mac Mondays? What was that?”
Associate Director of Campus Programs Tara Stormoen-Martinez, who is an advisor to the yearbook, said she is pleased with how the project is coming along. “As an advisor I am encouraged by their progress in starting back up the yearbook,” she said.

Chiu agreed. “The project is going well. We finished planning the entire yearbook. This is a big step. We now have a concrete idea of what the yearbook will be like,” she said.

Over 144 pages of full color spreads, Chiu and Koenig said they are sure that the yearbook will be interesting. The book will include sections dedicated to student life, student organizations, and profiles of such Macalester personalities as Harold and Nurse Bob, in addition to mug shots of individual students and all Macalester faculty members.

With about 50 percent participation from the senior class and 35 percent from the underclassmen, Chiu said she is impressed with the job the yearbook has done in acquiring student mug shots for its first year. While the deadline for underclassmen to submit photos has passed, seniors are encouraged to send in their photos, along with information about their major and a quote by the Mar. 19 deadline.

In addition to MCSG and the student body, the organization has received support from College Relations, President Rosenberg, and the Dean of Students, Stormoen-Martinez said.
Stormoen-Martinez, Chiu, and Koenig, however, are well aware of the looming realities of the project. “It is a big endeavor and there is still a long way to go,” said Stormoen-Martinez.

Although the actual number may be negotiable, the yearbook currently has a deal with Taylor Publishing for 500 volumes at $40 a piece; approximately a quarter of this amount has been sold. The organization is in talks with administrators about how to cover any possible deficit if sales are low, Chiu said. The deadline to purchase a yearbook is April 1.

Yearbook staff members said they can understand some students’ hesitation in purchasing a yearbook. Without a yearbook in recent memory, it is difficult to know what to expect, Stormoen-Martinez said.

“I understand how difficult it is to spend your money on an uncertainty,” Chiu said. “But I assure that this yearbook will be well made; distinctly Macalester.”

Should there be yearbooks to sell after the fall publication and delivery, students may still be able to purchase a yearbook, although most likely at a higher price, said Chiu.

With deadlines quickly approaching, the pressure is on to complete the publication. The loss of some staff members, including former editor Deborah Heller ’07 who is studying abroad, has left the organization with eight staff members this semester, said Stormoen-Martinez.

“We are a small staff for such a large publication,” Chiu said. “We will still be writing and designing after graduation.” The final deadline with Taylor Publishing is negotiable. It is tentatively set for sometime in May, with yearbooks expected to go out to seniors some time in the summer.
The yearbook welcomes help in all forms and encourages students to submit personal photos, writings, and memories to [email protected] or to drop by a meeting, held every Sunday at 4 pm in The Mac Weekly Office in the basement of 30 Mac.–

Correction added 3/3/06: The original subheadline said yearbooks would be ready in May. The tentative deadline from the printers is in May; yearbooks are expected to be published in the summer.