Lack of interest results in no yearbooks for seniors

With Senior Week events commencing this week, many seniors are counting down to graduation.

With the week of traditional senior-focused events just getting started, some seniors are questioning Student Life and its decision to cancel the yearbook.

“I think it’s crap and I’d be willing to work in producing a student-led yearbook,” senior Jeremy Dickey said.

Dickey also questioned, “Then, where does our senior portrait fee go?”

According to Laura Zirkle, Ph.D., associate vice president for Student Life, “For last three years we had been looking at whether students were interested in the books. Graphic designer for the public relations department Steve Perkins was in charge of yearbooks, and noted that yearbooks were no longer being covered by student funds anymore.”

Based upon numbers and sales, over the last several years, there has been a general lack of interest from students when it came to purchasing yearbooks.

Student life started throwing yearbook kick-off parties and events to see if that would help, but after attending a collegiate conference, Student Life had discovered that a lot of schools were canceling the yearbook, so this year Mercyhurst just followed the trend and decided that would be the plan.

Zirkle noted that “there has been no student response to the cancellation; the lack of interest was so clearly there, but we did let Mercyhurst Student Government (MSG) know.”

Many seniors are also questioning where their $10 sitting fee is going this year since there is no yearbook.

“The sitting fee has always gone toward senior events, not specifically the yearbooks. Some years, more of those funds may have gone towards the yearbooks,” Zirkle said.

Zirkle also points out that “the fee was never specifically designated to the yearbook. We (Student Life) kept the senior portraits because of LinkedIn and resumes. Whether or not students take interest in it, it is still an inexpensive resource that they can take advantage of.”

Though the yearbook may have seemed like a gift, it was never intended to be a gift. Students paid for what they were doing, whether they had contributed or added photos, or even purchased them, it supplemented the money that the school paid.

This does not have to be the end of tradition when it comes to the yearbook. If students have any suggestions as to what could replace the yearbook, contact Zirkle at (814) 824-2262 or