As the former editor of The Chanticleer, I am compelled to straighten out some misunderstandings.
With regards to overproduction, excluding two editions from two and three years ago from which a few hundred books remain, every year since the 1990s and before has seen 97 to 100 percent give-out rates, which is impressive given our print-run of 2,500 books.
Claiming that The Chanticleer is an unread publication does not consider how yearbooks are read. In the 2012-13 volume that is being released on Friday, I urge people against ferociously flipping through the yearbook to find their own face and the faces of people they know, but instead to pay attention to the aesthetic and documental qualities of the book, such as the many incredible images and the comprehensive coverage. The yearbook’s primary appeal is to nostalgia, a delicate sentiment most likely afflicting you later in life or—as tons of graduated seniors have told me since receiving their books in the mail—very shortly after leaving Duke. It can therefore be difficult for current students who want concerts and free food to see the value in preserving pictorial memories.
Despite our wishes, DSG has barred us from using student funds to print books for underclassmen and prevented us from providing high-quality books to all seniors by underfunding us. (They assumed the cost curve for printing books is linear, not logarithmic, and do not care.)
Lastly, in the Spring, DSG decreed that the goal of this Wednesday’s meeting will be to vote on unfreezing The Chanticleer’s budget on the grounds of whether or not the publication has created a plan that will meet several DSG demands. If DSG wishes to further cut The Chanticleer’s budget, it should consider doing so when budget discussions are on the table in the Spring. Until then, I expect DSG to have the integrity to uphold its own decrees.
Former editor of The Chanticleer, Trinity ’13