Yearbook Turns Over New Leaf
By Lindsay Haislip
With the growing push toward an online presence for many publications, print versions are becoming increasingly obsolete and unpopular. “The Pegasus,” the historic yearbook of Washington College, is in the process of receiving a full transformation into a publication that better fits the modern world.
“The Pegasus” has been an issue for The Board of Publications and the Student Life Committee for a number of years, as the “interest in a traditional style glossy yearbook has been declining,” said member of the Board of Publications and English professor, Cory Olsen.
Additionally, the cost of producing these books has been increasing steadily from year to year.
“We’ve had many years of boxes and boxes of extra ‘Pegasuses’ that no one even goes and picks up for free, so students don’t really seem to be very interested in the idea of an old-school yearbook,” said Olsen.
Due to these two factors, it was decided that something needed to be done to change the structure behind “The Pegasus” and make it a more sustainable publication, based on current popularity and interest.
As far as what will come with the ‘new’ “Pegasus,” community members can expect a great deviation from the traditional, hardback yearbook that has been around for so many years.
“The idea of the new ‘Pegasus’ is to try to solve both problems at once: to do this in a way which is going to cost less money, though it’s still going to have a very big budget, and also make something that is going to be more dynamic and relevant to people in a 21st century world,” said Olsen.
Junior Erica Walburg is the new Editor-in-Chief behind what will be the new “Pegasus,” and has great plans to make it a publication that is able to connect with people in a “The new “Pegasus” is going to be called ‘The Pegasus Project,’ because it’s not going to be a yearbook,” said Walburg. “When you think of a yearbook from high school or even from previous years, it is one big glossy book. ‘The Pegasus Project’ is going to be completely different. We’re focusing on having a print version each semester with selected things that were published online along with other articles and pieces.”
While some solid plans and idea have been decided upon for the Project, there is still much to be determined.
“It’s still in the works and it’s kind of a team effort from the staff, of course, so depending on what ideas they have for next year, we will change it, but that’s primarily what it will be”, said Walburg. “It will be a little bit of everything.”
The Board of Publications has a few guidelines for what they would like to see continued with the publication.
“Essentially what we, the Board of Pub, would like to see is a year in the life of the college done in video, photos, text, written stories, lots of pictures, videos, and primarily web-based,” said Olsen.
There will most likely still be some kind of print version, but nothing like the print version that is produced each year.
An additional aspect of the yearbook that will continue over into the new version of “The Pegasus” is the idea of a kind of memorializing of major events in the year to enable it to still act as a yearbook, just in a different format. There will also be some form of senior pages, where seniors can have their own place and presence.
“My hope is certainly that it will do the jobs that the old “Pegasus” did, but in a much more dynamic, relevant, and primarily web-based way,” said Olsen.
While “The Pegasus” has not been popular among the community in past years, Olsen wanted to stress that it is not by any means the fault of the previous editors or staff members of the publication, simply a change in what attracts peoples’ attention and interest.
“I don’t want it to sound like I’m casting aspersions on the worth of any of the work that Emmy or any other previous editor has done,” he said. “As excellent of a job as they’re doing with it, I just don’t think it’s a medium that connects with people anymore, and I think we need to think about different ways to do it.”
May 6, 2011
Volume LXXXI Issue 25