Yearbook Here to Stay With Free Copies

Josephine Adamski

This past Wednesday marks the release of the first free edition of Waiilatpu, the Whitman College yearbook.

Last year the yearbook was under review to be cut from the budget by ASWC.  The primary reason this was considered was because the yearbook, unlike other Whitman campus media organization publications, such as blue moon, quarterlife and The Pioneer, was not free to students.

Additionally, ASWC did not see enough student interest in the yearbook, according to Waiilatpu Editor-in-Chief Meg Logue, and this was mostly likely due to the fact that it wasn’t free.

“ASWC was questioning the existence of the yearbook, and they wanted to nix it, pretty much. [Junior and ASWC President] Tim Reed decided that if they decided to keep it, they would never question it again, or if they decided to get rid of it, it wouldn’t start up again. A lot of it had to do with the fact that the yearbook was not free, while most other Whitman publications are. This year we were able to offer it for free, and in the future I want to keep it free … Giving it to people who otherwise wouldn’t have access to it is awesome,” said first-year Anna Zheng, who will be the 2014-2015 Waiilatpu editor-in-chief.

This isn’t the first time the yearbook has been questioned by ASWC. Up until four years ago the yearbook club had been inactive for 15 years.

“Now we have had it for four years, and last year was the first year it was considered a campus organization rather than just a club. This just changes our by-laws, and the things we’re are allowed to do, but it hasn’t hinged on our freedom. It essentially makes it harder for [ASWC] to get rid of us.” said Logue.

This year, because of money rolled over from last year’s budget, the yearbook was able to be offered free to students. The yearbook staff wants to continue to keep the yearbook free to make it more accessible in coming years.

“Over the past years, the only source of funding the yearbook has ever had has been ASWC funding. We do have ASWC funding, almost double from last year, but since it’s not free to print, to continue to make them free we are trying to establish these other relationships to become less reliant upon that ASWC money,” said Logue.

These relationships with other campus organizations and alumni and greater student awareness will hopefully generate more funding for the yearbook in years to come.

“I think the yearbook is crucial because it is basically the only publication that documents the whole year … It’s really important and it’s a good thing to have those archives kept and to be able flip through, so it [the yearbook] acts as preservation,” said Zheng.  

This is not just beneficial to students but also to the Whitman College and Northwest Archives.

“I just think it’s really important … for a school to have a record of things that happened during a year. This year we switched the focus to primarily important effects. In that sense it’s very important for the school and also very important for students to have, and it’s not the same thing as pulling up a Facebook page. You can actually look through those photos. It is more tangible,” said Logue.