Are yearbooks a thing in the past?

While sitting in work this week I overheard my co-workers talking about yearbooks. They said how excited they were to get them and have everyone sign them. Our boss overheard the conversation and broke the news that yearbooks haven’t been printed since 2005. They were astonished and so was I. Why wouldn’t yearbooks be a thing anymore? Who was in charge of making a yearbook? And who made the decisions of having one or not?
I did a little digging around and found out that the decision for not having a year book was simply in the students. Rachel Lucking who is the Director of Student Involvement and Leadership Development at FSU, said that a group of students would have to be declared as a club by SILD and SGA, then get funding from SGA to pay for supplies and putting together the yearbook; it’s simply that easy.
Because students didn’t have anyone to run a club to make a yearbook there wouldn’t be one. And nobody has made the effort since 2005. Because a class didn’t even discuss a yearbook, making one didn’t even come up in conversation.
Why don’t students want to have a yearbook? I don’t think they understand that college is supposed to be the best years of their lives and wouldn’t they want to remember that? A yearbook is one way to save their memories and look back at the teachers they had, friends and people they saw and knew around campus and how the campus looked in general. Wouldn’t they want to dig up an old book 10, 20 or 30 years later and remember all the fun crazy times they had in their life before they hit the real world?
Framingham State does offer and digital yearbook dating back from 1915 all the way to 2005. This gives you a look to see what the school was like back in the day. If we did this today for 2014 then kids in the future will get the same experience that we can get with looking at these digital yearbooks. To see the digital yearbooks go to the Framingham State homepage, then go on to the Henry Whittemore Library homepage. From there on the left side of the page click on Digital Commons at Framingham State University. When you see the search-box in the upper left hand corner search for which yearbook you would like to see.
It’s sad to see that students have decided to stop producing a yearbook because from a personal perspective I would like to remember all the people that I have met while being here. This has been my home for two years now and will be for the next two I want to share my experience with my family and friends and show them the people that I met and the places I had to go every day. A yearbook would give me that option.
I asked students there opinion on having a yearbook and most them talked about the cost. They said that since there high school yearbook was so much money that they thought a college one would be even more. Others said they barely even look at their high school one so they don’t need a college one. Technology is improving so much these days, with Instagram and Twitter; it’s easier to upload pictures for everyone to see, faster than digging through a closet to find an old yearbook. A year book is a big project that would need to have a dedicated candidate to take on the challenge. They would have to take on costs, pictures, statements from students and more.
In the end the decision of a yearbook would be up to you. If you are really passionate about the idea of having a yearbook then be that person to make the change. Start a club or get a group of people together and start a discussion about it. Spread the word and maybe people who are interested will join as well. You can visit Student Involvement and Leadership Development located in the McCarthy Center to pitch the idea and then go to the Student Government Association office and meeting to become an actual club.

By: Shelby Wood

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1 Comment

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One response to “Are yearbooks a thing in the past?

  1. whitarchives2009

    Thank you Shelby for writing on such an important topic. As the Archivist here at FSU, I’ve been greatly saddened by the lack of student interest in creating/continuing the Dial Yearbook Tradition. These yearbooks are a great source of information depicting the culture and events surrounding each year. I often use them in exhibits, classroom sessions, and for genealogical inquiries from past alums families.

    You state that many of your friends/classmates don’t even look at your high school yearbooks, but that is just because you have just left high school. Think 10, 20, even 30 years down the road, and believe me those yearbooks will have great value. Be it at reunions; get togethers with old friends/classmates, or just to show your children and grandchildren a slice of life when “you” went to university.

    I often have current students coming in to look at the yearbooks to see where, Mom, Dad or even Grandma went to school here and perhaps what they looked like or what clubs or things they might have participated in.

    If there is enough interest in starting up the yearbook again, perhaps there are ways in making it fresh, less expensive, and even smaller if necessary. Trust me; these are memories you are not going to want to forget. You can look at the yearbooks on the Digital Commons http://digitalcommons.framingham.edu/dial/ or feel free to come and visit me currently in room 101 – Archives on the main floor. We will soon be moving back into the Special Collections Room 110 also on the main floor of the Henry Whittemore Library and you can flip through the pages of some of these treasures. Feel free to contact me Colleen Previte – Archivist/Special Collections Library FSU cprevite@framingham.edu if you want to see the yearbooks or discuss this further.

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