Senior quotes can be a hallmark of leaving your footprint on your school. It’s a way to be remembered by your friends and a way to remind yourself of the type of person you once were. As such, it came as a surprise to many when they learned that senior quotes would not be part of their yearbooks.
An informal Facebook poll showed that 80% of seniors surveyed expressed at least some desire to have quotes in the yearbook. Given this broad support, it’s not surprising that more than a few seniors have confusedly asked, “Why not?”
According to Yearbook Editor-in-Chief Vicky Li, Tech’s past yearbooks have never included senior quotes. When asked why, she responded, “We simply have too many students, and to add 20 more pages for quotes would increase the price drastically.” There were other logistical reasons as to why this was the case, but she explained that the yearbook advisor felt that senior quotes are only done by schools that “don’t take yearbooks seriously,” although she herself would’ve been supportive.
As seniors continued to voice their preferences on maintaining the senior quotes in the yearbook, the committee decided to try to get quotes in an alternative and more nuanced way. Specifically, the committee would add some “feature boxes” to some pages of the yearbook with questions and answers from the Yearbook Questionnaire. Seniors were asked to provide a quote, as well as answering other reflective questions such as “advice for your freshman self,” “your proudest achievement at Tech,” and humorous ones such as “favorite pick-up line.” Unfortunately, this well-intended effort elicited other complaints. The questionnaire was sent out by email on February 7th, and had to be completed within 8 days. Moreover, on February 12th the senior quote question was changed to “say something that summarizes your 4 years at Tech.”
When asked to comment, Ms. Li explained that since they could only publish a sampling of the responses due to space constraints, they didn’t want to mislead students into expecting that their specific quotes would be in the yearbook. As such, they decided to change that question. With respect to the short deadline, she responded, “We didn’t want a response from every senior because we knew we couldn’t fit them all anyway. We also have to meet deadlines with the yearbook company we use.”
The reality is that senior quotes are possible, but as Ms. Li remarked, “Since we already sent out the senior portrait section of the yearbook to the company, it’s too late to do anything now.” So for the Class of 2019, our footprint will have to be a collective one.
For future classes though, Ms. Li did say, “Our yearbook company doesn’t have a limit on how we design the book. So we could shrink the portraits and text size to fit in quotes.” Whether that’s worth it is a question for the next yearbook committee to decide. However, if rising seniors do have a strong opinion about this, then they should make themselves heard, early and often before it’s too late.