By Maria Monteros
The Trevecca yearbook is going digital.
The university’s yearbook, Darda, will be distributed to students primarily in digital form starting with the 2020 edition. Physical copies are still available upon request for an out-of-pocket fee that has yet to be finalized, said Jessica Dykes, associate vice president and dean of students.
Darda, meaning “Pearl of knowledge,” was first published in 1924, but over the last eight years, the idea of switching to digital format was frequently brought up because fewer students have been taking them home, said Spraker.
Each spring, when new issues of the yearbook are released, multiple unopened boxes either return to the editor’s office or sent to the Hardy Alumni building for storage.
“If [students] aren’t taking them, then that must mean it’s not important to them,” said Matt Spraker, associate dean of students for community life. “Then we have boxes and boxes that sit around, and after a while, we end up having to discard some of them because we just don’t have space to keep all those yearbooks.”
A single 150-170-page copy of the Darda typically costs about $55 to print— charged under the “Student Resource Fee,” the same fund used for campus events and activities, says Spraker. The digitalization of the yearbook gives Trevecca more leeway to add more pages to the Darda and use the budget on other expenses still in discussion, he says.
A digital format makes the Darda more accessible and will give editors the flexibility to add more pages, said Dykes. The new medium could also make it easier to add students who weren’t able to take yearbook pictures during the beginning of the year, she said.
“We did have some students that were accidentally left out of the yearbook,” she said. “That’s no one’s fault. It just gives us the ability to include someone easier.”
Liza Rodriguez Madrid, Darda editor in-chief, recalls seeing roughly 60 unopened boxes last year when she was the design editor.
“If you don’t want it, there’s no reason we should be printing one for you because it’s hard cover gloss satin pages that are not cheap at all,” she said.
Space, both for storage and yearbook content, is a common issue editors have with print copies, says Rodriguez Madrid. With 200 pages planned for the first digital issue, she wants to feature more organizations and be more creative with the production.
“With it being printed, since there were budget restrictions, we had to choose which clubs would go there, what athletics,” she said. “Having more space, more pages, we have more control on what we want to showcase.”
Required textbooks at Trevecca have slowly shifted to digital in recent years. Some Nazarene colleges have either turned to online yearbooks or abandoned it entirely, says Spraker.
“There’s this human, romantic attachment I think to physical things, to paper and to books, but everything around us is getting more and more digital,” said Spraker, who called the Darda Trevecca’s “history book.”
The 2019 Darda, the last yearbook to be distributed physically on campus, is still unfinished and will be available in the spring.
Trevecca’s online archive holds all the previous issues of Darda. It is still unclear where the 2020 copy of Darda will be published online.
Rodriguez Madrid, the first editor to work on the digital medium, has page 1 of the first print issue of Darda hanging on her office wall next to a bookshelf full of unclaimed yearbooks.