Senior Quote Controversy

Julie Plummer, Reporter

Senior year is a right of passage for students and their family, meaning they want it to be a year to remember. That includes senior pictures, senior pranks, graduation, and the main topic of controversy, senior quotes.

In 2015 and 2016, the yearbook staff offered the seniors the ability to have a senior quote in the yearbook.

Prior to this, senior quotes hadn’t been in the yearbooks at all.

“We removed the quotes because only about a third of that year’s graduating class turned in acceptable quotes; another third of the class submitted quotes that were inappropriate to publish in a yearbook, and the remaining third of seniors didn’t turn in any at all,” said Yearbook Advisor Wade Walton.

Walton explained that design issues had occured because no one submitted quotes, or the quotes were inappropriate, hence creating awkward blank spaces in the yearbook.

The yearbook staff then agreed to not offer senior quotes.

“As a staff, we decided that it wasn’t worth the time or effort to sift through senior quotes if only one-third of the class was going to take it seriously,” said Walton.

It’s understandable why the staff wouldn’t want to do this, as it’s very time consuming; however, it’s unfortunate to compare this senior class to past classes.

So, the staff decided to discontinue them for the foreseeable future.

“We gave them a chance that year, and the results told us that [the quotes aren’t] worth the trouble,” said Walton.

However, seniors and even some underclassmen are greatly opposed to this, creating controversy throughout the senior class.

Senior quotes are there to leave a mark on your last year, as if they’re your final words before you leave.

“This isn’t just any quote, but a quote that sticks out with you and possibly changes you for the better. By putting it in the yearbook, you are using what inspired you for others, to inspire them,” said band member Alek Nielsen.

All students that had answered my questions all agreed that, yes, to a certain extent, senior quotes should be brought back.

“Some people would have fun with it. It would mean a lot to seniors to do that,” said soccer player Elizabeth Pistoria.

If seniors want the quotes, and some are submitting inappropriate ones, could discipline factor into this?

Several students agreed that students who submit inappropriate quotes should not receive punishment.

Senior Nathan Wilson agreed stating that  “punishment is unnecessary and just more work for everyone.”

“They [seniors] should have to resubmit them or have none,” said senior Mason Kefauver.

If yearbook decides to run quotes again to please the seniors, and there was no punishment to deter inappropriate quotes, then this would create a design flaw, meaning blank space throughout the yearbook.

After reading over a few articles of schools having the same issue, I formed my own solution to the problem. I believe that senior quotes aren’t exactly there to be taken seriously; however, they should be appropriate.

It isn’t fair to assume that this senior class will make the same mistakes as previous seniors, but I also understand the design flaw problem.

As a solution, maybe senior quotes could be an added feature that costs money, similarly to dedication pages. In that instance, it’s more likely for seniors not to waste their money on a quote that will range from $5-$10 in order to add something inappropriate.

Or, for a more reasonable idea, simply have default quotes set to the side. If someone submits something inappropriate, replace it with something very basic so this doesn’t create a design flaw.

It’s unfortunate that senior quotes, a form of self-expression that’ll leave a mark on our senior year, is not going to be featured in the yearbooks.