COMMENTARY: #SavetheTalisman

Katie Clark

As a student it was an honor to be a part of the Talisman staff, and as an adviser it was humbling to learn from a group of bright and promising students. A student once told me that print isn’t dead — that it has simply transformed into a work of art. That is exactly what the Talisman embodies. If you’ve opened the pages of one recently, you will quickly realize that it is a publication made for the shelves of the finest bookstore or nicest coffee table.

The Talisman isn’t a yearbook. It’s a piece of WKU’s history, and it is a piece of me. During my days on the Hill, the Talisman helped shape and mold me in ways that a classroom didn’t even come close. I owe much of my professional success to what I learned as a student while working on the Talisman. There isn’t a monetary value large enough to equal what I have gained from my Talisman experience.

It was less than 10 years ago that I wrote a commentary for the Herald encouraging my fellow WKU students to support a $9 per semester student activity fee to generate a source of permanent funding for the Talisman. At the time, I was about to embark on my second term as editor and I had the full support of the administration in my efforts.

When the fee passed I was elated, believing that the future of the award-winning publication was safe. I felt that as a student I had made a difference — one that would impact future WKU students for years to come. When it came before the Board of Regents, instead of creating a student activity fee they made the Talisman a part of the general university budget. At the time they respected the Talisman, spoke highly of it’s award-winning history and knew what an integral role it played in documenting campus life.

Today, I find myself in a state of shock at how the the Talisman has changed in their eyes. A proposed budget cut of 47 percent to one of the country’s top college yearbooks will once again place this beloved publication in a state of flex. But I’m also extremely proud today; proud to be a part of an amazing group of Talisman, Herald, Journalism School and WKU alumni who love and support the Talisman.

It was through working in Student Publications for four years as an adviser that I realized my success isn’t measured by the title following my name or the amount of money in my paycheck. Instead it is measured by my ability to positively impact others. And so I’m doing all I can to spread the word and show how much this publication means to me and to WKU’s tradition of excellence.

I encourage you, too, to have a positive impact on the future of the Talisman and show your support for the current staff. So open your Talisman and revisit your time on the Hill, and then head to and let us know what supporting the Talisman means to you.