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2007-08 Purdue Debris to mark final edition of traditional yearbook

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Due to decreasing sales, reserve funds and student interest, the student executive board of the Debris has decided the 2007-08 edition will be Purdue’s last traditional yearbook.

The staff of the Debris has been working with administrators across campus during the past year on strategies to revive the publication, but the group decided to stop producing a yearbook after this edition, said Kayla Gregory, Debris adviser. She said the group will consider alternative publication formats to record the Purdue student experience.

According to incoming editor in chief Emily Heiser, sales of the Debris have been going down during the last 10 years, a trend seen with many other university yearbooks. The organization has been ordering less than 1,000 copies a year during the last few years, she said.

“The student staff is incredibly proud of their work on the 2007-08 Debris,” Gregory said. “It is without a doubt one of the finest publications the organization has ever produced. The students are honored to have this last publication be one of such high quality and in accordance with the organization’s rich tradition.”

The 2007-08 Debris is made up of more than 340 full-color, hardbound pages. It includes coverage of student life, housing, academics, athletics and the senior album. The Debris also includes a DVD supplement, a special edition of the student-produced news magazine “Fast Track News” from the College of Liberal Arts.

Named for an obscure definition of the term debris, a collection of works, the Debris was first published in 1889. From its beginning, the size of the staff has ranged from more than 50 students to less than 10; its current staff is made up of 15 students.

“I am proud to say that we have produced an outstanding book that will be a great way to end a long tradition,” said editor in chief Kari Whisler, a senior in the College of Consumer and Family Sciences from Danville, Ind. “I am faithful that the future of the Debris yearbook will be very successful. This is a new beginning that will lead to great things.”

The Debris will remain as a recognized student organization to handle student and parent inquiries and to oversee the delivery of the 2007-08 yearbook in late August. A small amount of money will remain in the Debris reserve account, and income from the archive editions will continue to go to the organization, Gregory said.

Heiser, a junior in the College of Liberal Arts from Vernon Hills, Ill., said she plans to use the fall 2008 semester to rebuild the student organization and develop strategies for alternative publication formats.

“After this book’s completion, the staff will take time to talk to people around Purdue,” she said. “We’ll talk to alumni, faculty, staff and, most importantly, students, to decide how these groups want the memories of Purdue to be saved. By spring 2009, I hope we will have a concept for a new publication that all Boilermakers can be proud to have and share. We do not want even one year of memories to slip away.”

If the income builds to the amount needed to cover printing costs, the organization will have the option to resume publishing a traditional yearbook, Gregory said.

The 2008 Debris is $55, with the DVD supplement available for an extra $5, and is available for purchase at through the end of the semester. The yearbook will be delivered in late August and will be shipped directly to the address provided on the order form.
For information about the 2007-08 Debris, contact the staff at

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