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Senior pictures waste student money

Observer Viewpoint | Sunday, September 12, 2004

What is it we pay to go to this school? $40,000? I’ve spent almost four years wondering where all that money goes, or better yet, doesn’t go. One hundred fifty-nine dollars for football tickets is pretty bad. Nine dollars for a dining hall meal – yeah, that’s about what they cost – is ridiculous. But now the class of 2005 is finding out one of the more absurd additional fees that I’ve ever heard of. You want to be in the yearbook? You’ve got to buy a senior portrait.

I don’t care about a senior portrait, and unless your parents have brainwashed you, neither should you. I have lots of pictures of myself and my friends over my time at this school that mean a lot more to me than some elaborately set up photo opportunity. So why would I pay $10 to break out a jacket and tie – mandatory dress for males – and walk around campus like the point man in some twisted “Where’s Waldo?”

In 30 years, when my classmates pick up their yearbook to take a walk down memory lane, I would like to have my smiling face on one of those big billboards on the side of the road. I go to this school, and I’m graduating with the class of 2005. Maybe I’m crazy, but shouldn’t that be enough to get me in the yearbook? Maybe instead of giving away thousands of yearbooks every year, mostly to underclassmen who will never look at them again – I have a couple buried at home somewhere – we should start charging a small fee for the yearbooks rather than the pictures. This could fund at least a minimum portrait package for the whole senior class.

I’m afraid it’s too late to do anything about it now; seniors, we are already lost. But there is still a chance for you underclassmen. As for myself, well, I cancelled my portrait session. But thanks to a digital camera and the wonders of email, I might still be cast into Notre Dame history; just look for the guy sporting a T-shirt and a huge grin, right between the two suckers in jackets and ties.

Paul Joice



Sept. 9