This year’s Tricolour Yearbook looks great. Editor-in-chief Ben Arkin made good on his promise of last year to do away with the “high-schoolish” look of recent yearbooks, and he oversaw the production of a pleasing reminder of 1999-2000 at Queen’s. For some students, at least.
For others, he published a book that misidentified both their degrees and their disciplines, and he irresponsibly gave the OK to print a yearbook in which he knew there were many errors.
In the graduate photo spread, all students who graduated with an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree were said to have completed a Masters. Furthermore, all students who graduated with a degree in geography were identified as having a degree in geology.
The official excuse is that there was a tragic “coding error” between the photographer and the printer, but this sounds like exactly what it is, a poor excuse for an unprofessional mistake.
Arkin said he knew about the errors at least three days before the yearbook was to be printed, and well he should have. No printer would have printed such a huge run of very expensive books without the expressed consent of the editor, who would have been given proofs to examine before printing began. Having promised last year that his yearbook would be out on time (last year’s came out six months late), Arkin said that he decided to print because he “thought the problem was under control with the publisher.”
It was never the publisher’s concern how students were identified, or whether they were even identified at all. It was the editor’s concern, and if, as Arkin said, he was having difficulties with his publisher, he should not have let them translate into a sub-standard product.
When he issued his apology to the affected students, Arkin said “I wouldn’t want it to happen to me.” Of course you wouldn’t, and neither would anyone else. It was your job to ensure it didn’t.
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