The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

Students struggle to revive Macalester yearbook

By Michael Barnes

In 1964, the editors of The Mac, the longstanding yearbook of Macalester College that was published continuously for decades, bound and printed its last volumes. Despite an attempt in 1984, and again a decade later, to revive the idea of a year-end publication, the college has gone without a yearbook for quite some time. A group of seven students hopes to change that this year.

According to yearbook business manager Ruth Chiu ’06, a yearbook is a way to celebrate the end of the year while giving current and future students a sense of Macalester’s identity.

“I think the yearbook would be a great final touch,” Chiu said. “Especially when Macalester is bringing up traditions from the past and trying to promote school spirit.”

The yearbook would be small compared to most high school and college yearbooks, only 144 pages, Chiu said. But the plan is to start small this year, and work toward a more comprehensive book the next year, she said.

The book will include pictures of all students and their organizations, faculty and campus events, Chiu said.

“It’s basically like a high school yearbook except for college,” Chiu said.

Despite the presence of several dedicated students, however, it is unclear whether this year’s attempt at creating a yearbook will be successful, Associate Director of Campus Programs Tara Stormoen said. Stormoen has assisted students in getting the project started.

“A big challenge is that we’re not sure where the money is coming from,” Stormoen said.

While the yearbook is currently expected to cost $40 per student, if 500 copies are printed as planned, the total cost for printing will be $20,000, and the publisher wants more than a quarter of that money sent in as a deposit by Jan. 1, Stormoen said.

To keep pace with the deadline, Stormoen and the yearbook staff have set an internal goal of raising $5,800 by Dec. 1.

That would mean collecting 145 orders before the end of this semester, according to editor Deborah Heller ’07, who is heading up the project.

“We intend to do a lot of our sales by contacting parents,” Heller said. “We’d also like to sell some advertisements by then.”

In addition to having a deadline for an initial deposit, the staff must submit about one third of the content of the yearbook by the same date in January, Stormoen said.

To accomplish this, and to ensure that the collection of orders is successful, the yearbook needs a lot more student support, Heller said.

“Anyone can just show up; no experience is necessary at all,” she said.

If the production of the yearbook is a success, the staff expects it to come out in late summer or early fall 2006, Chiu said. Seniors would receive their copy in the mail, but would receive an insert in May for gathering student signatures, she said.

The reason the yearbook would come out after the year ends is so that events occurring during the spring could be included, Chiu said.

In the event that the yearbook does not go to print, all money collected from students, parents, and advertisers would be refunded, Heller said.

“The publishing company knows there is a possibility that this won’t happen,” Heller said. “We can back out without any cost to the school and work for next year.”

In order to continue their work for future years, the yearbook staff is currently going through a chartering process with Macalester College Student Government (MCSG). Though the yearbook will not be able to receive funds during the next budgeting cycle, if chartered the staff will be eligible for additional allocations next semester, Stormoen said.

Anyone who is interested in joining the yearbook staff can contact Heller at [email protected]. The yearbook staff currently meets Sundays at 4 p.m. in the basement of 30 Mac, in The Mac Weekly office.

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