Petition opens new debates for yearbook

David Haut

One student wants to give other Missouri Southern students something to remember.

Terry Levy, junior criminal justice/pre-law major, had the idea of resurrecting Crossroads the yearbook, something the University has not had for 11 years.

Levy started a petition during the week of April 5 to publish Crossroads the yearbook in addition to Crossroads: The Magazine. As of April 12, Levy had acquired over 50 signatures.

Crossroads has not published a yearbook since the spring of 1993, due to lack of funds and student interest. The following semester Crossroads became a magazine, still published by Southern’s communications department.

“I don’t necessarily want to abolish Crossroads and end the magazine,” he said. “[The magazine] could fit inside the yearbook.”

Instead, Levy would like a “year-in-review,” a publication dedicated to the year’s events, activities, organizations and student life. Using some of the funds allocated to Crossroads, Levy would like to produce a publication more centered on students and the University.

Southern’s student activity fee is $25, $5 of which is allocated to Crossroads.

“It’s their money,” he said. “We want it to pertain more to them.”

In other words, it would not be a normal yearbook with mug shots and biographies. Instead, it would contain more feature stories and photos of campus organizations, clubs and events.

“It will be more of a ‘viewbook’ or a yearly scrapbook,” said Julie Blackford, director of student activities. “It will also make a great recruiting tool.”

Blackford and Levy have differing ideas for the yearbook, but agree it will serve as a form of historical access for students and alumni.

Levy said most students do not have a record of their time here.

“They don’t save newspapers,” he said.

“I think it would be great if they brought back recess and naptime,” said Kayla Rinker, senior mass communications major and editor of Crossroads. “I’m a feature writer. We’re already making contacts with people in our field. I can’t put ‘yearbook staff’ on a résume.”

Rinker said she would rather take on a budget cut than to make the switch back to a yearbook.

The yearbook/magazine debate is not new.

Since the change to magazine, the debate over Crossroads has been on-again off-again, peaking in the mid 90s.

Levy’s idea is still in the development stage. Funding, staff and content have yet to be made official. Rinker said there are decisions that should be heavily considered.

Without a hardback design, which would be costly and hard to distribute, the thickness would be obtrusive and unprofessional.

“Why make something that looks cheap?” she said.

Crossroads has recently received numerous awards, including first place in the nation for a house ad by the Associated Collegiate Press and a second place Regional Mark of Excellence award by the Society of Professional Journalists.

“I’d be sad if other people didn’t get the experience I did,” Rinker said.

Anyone interested in the petition may contact Levy or Blackford in the student activities office on the second floor of Billingsly Student Center.