Portion of students to receive free yearbooks through S.O.L.O. funding

The Society of Collegiate Journalists hopes to spark some interest in the Tech Eagle Yearbook by giving a select number of copies away to students later this semester.  On Tuesday, Feb. 18, the SGA approved the society’s S.O.L.O. application for $3,000 to purchase 100 yearbooks that will be given to students for free on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Sen. Drake Fenlon, presenting for the SCJ, said that 50 yearbooks have been sold in the last two years combined – only half of the amount that would be given away from the free copies alone this year.

“That’s a problem,” he said. “Because this is your university, this is your history you’re making here at Tennessee Tech.

“The yearbook only returned to its print version about two years ago after being distributed solely in a DVD format for about six years,” Fenlon said. But student “interest dropped rapidly” after the yearbook moved to its digital version.

“Interest is slowly, slowly creeping back up there,” Fenlon said.

About 10 years ago, the yearbook was afforded a much larger budget.

“In the past, yearbooks were given to every student – it was built into the tuition every year… Allocation has gone away,” Fenlon said. “Previously, the budget for the yearbook was $30,000. Then, in 2004, there were some price adjustments and the budget was cut down to $3,000.”

Yearbooks are currently sold at $33 each and will be available in April. Copies can be pre-ordered through Feb. 24.

This is the first S.O.L.O. application to be approved under the new stipulations of the $3,000 price cap raised last week from $1,000.