Talisman to begin charging for yearbook next year

Aaron Mudd

Students interested in getting next year’s Talisman yearbook will now have to pay.

The new $20 dollar cost to purchase the yearbook will go into effect with the 2015 Talisman.

Chuck Clark, the director of Student Publications, said the decision was motivated by the budget cut the Talisman received in 2013. The Talisman’s base budget for the 2013-14 fiscal year was $81,954, while its base budget from the previous fiscal year was $198,181, according to a fact sheet provided by Clark.

“The cut was offset during the 2014 year by some one-time money from the vice-provost and the provost and by supplementing from the College Heights Herald,” Clark said.

One way to maintain the yearbook’s quality and the experience students get, Clark said, is to begin charging for copies.

Although the Talisman will cost $20 per copy, Clark estimated the collective value of the Talisman to be between $150 and $200 when production costs and student content is taken into account. 

The $20 price will only cover about 14 percent of producing a copy and its content while the remainder continues to be funded by the university ,according to the fact sheet.

“The Talisman has won 15 national Pacemaker awards including 10 in the past 11 years and that’s the highest national award that a student publication can win,” he said. “The Talisman also has won 6 Gold Crown awards including four in a row in the past 4 years.”

Although the yearbook covering the 2014-2015 academic year will cost $20, the 2013-2014 Talisman will be free to students when it is released this August.

Historically the Talisman has always been a book students purchased. This changed in 2006 when the Talisman was included in WKU’s budget, Clark said. That ended with the 2013 budget cut.

Elizabethtown senior Katie Meek, the Talisman’s Editor-in-Chief for this coming year, said the new cost will not change the effort students put into creating the yearbook.

“I think that the Talisman will still put out the best product possible,” she said. “Despite the changes in cost of the book we’re still going to be doing the same things we have in previous years and moving forward.”

Meek said she hopes students working on the Talisman will feel even more motivated to give the WKU community a better value.

“I think that, if anything, I hope that it drives and motivates everyone on the Talisman staff to work even harder because everything that will be in the book will be something people are paying for,” she said.

The new cost could have a downside in the sense that students aren’t used to purchasing the Talisman and see it as free.

“I think that it might be hard this coming year to kind of transition out of the mentality that the book is for free,” Meek said. “But I think in the coming years people will understand that the book is worth more than that now.”

Talisman adviser Charlotte Turtle said that communicating that value will be part of the yearbook’s marketing campaign.

“It’s something that they’re gonna keep for years and $20 really isn’t a lot for something of the quality of the Talisman,” Turtle said.