Yearbook quits senior quotes

UPDATE: Following the article about the yearbook’s decision not to print senior quotes, an email was sent to seniors explaining that they would be given one more chance. Mr. Dodds stated the following in the email: “After some reflection and thoughtful discussion with some, you have another opportunity to submit your senior quote…Please take this seriously this time. Take time to reflect and think.” Seniors are expected to have their final quotes in by March 1st.


Seniors pose with old yearbooks opened to the senior section which feature unique quotes for each student.

“Yeah, I think its a shame we can’t do quotes this year because its a fun tradition. But I dont blame anyone with everything on the news now about inappropriate yearbook stuff resurfacing and potentially harming your career,” stated senior Andrew Passerell.

Senior quotes have been a cherished tradition since the first senior class at Walsh Jesuit. However, in an e-mail message to the Class of 2019, Yearbook Advisor Mr. Walter Dodds described an increasingly problematic situation: “Every year the senior class is given the opportunity to submit quotes to go along with their photo in the yearbook. Over the last couple of years, more and more students have either not submitted quotes or submitted something that is offensive or questionable in nature. That results in students having their quotes left out of the book.

Because of those past “questionable” quotes, a decision was made early on to exclude senior quotes from the yearbook this year. After reconsidering that determination, Mr. Dodds and Ms. Hudec, Dean of Students, decided to give the Class of 2019 another chance. Nevertheless, the vast majority of recent submissions proved to be inappropriate, and most seniors opted not to select a quote. As a result, the decision was made once again to include no senior quotes in the 2018-2019 yearbook.

This year the Trek will not feature senior quotes.

Senior quotes are “meant to be lasting, memorable, and represent you in a positive manner. These quotes not only represent you, but they represent your family, and the Walsh Jesuit community. These quotes are seen by many people, not just in your class but out in the public as well,” Mr. Dodds stated in his e-mail message.

Mr. Dodds continued, “Every year seniors submit their votes for superlatives as well as their favorite memories and words of wisdom. Part of this submission is their senior quote. Students are given over a week to research what they want to submit as their lasting and memorable quoteIt is our job to make sure that nothing offensive or that would show the school in a negative way gets put into the yearbook. Many students do not realize that there are consequences for their actions and/or words.

The ban on quotes in the yearbook upset many seniors. Gabby Ortega said, “I think it’s unfairespecially for those who wrote down something that meant something to them, like myself. Senior quotes [are] something I looked forward to, and I’m very sad about it, especially since am only a senior once. Also, it was a way for those who weren’t chosen for a senior superlative to leave their mark.

Another 2019 class member, Joe Kelly, noted, “I think that quotes shouldn’t just be for a lasting impression. They should also be fun or maybe [even] inappropriate recollection of the past years. Mine would be ‘Don’t do nothing.’”

Although I am upset that we are unable to have our quotes in the yearbook, I do have a slight understanding to where they are coming from. I wish some of the people in our senior class took this seriously.”

— Preslee Keown

However, some seniors, despite their dismay, understand where the faculty were coming from with their decision. Preslee Keown admitted, “The senior quotes issue is a misfortune for our class. Although I am upset that we are unable to have our quotes in the yearbook, I do have a slight understanding to where they are coming from. I wish some of the people in our senior class took this seriously.

Rylie Niemiec agreed but would have preferred no quotes from the beginning. “I just wish they would have told us that there would no longer be senior quotes before most of us picked one outbecause we all got excited and then it was taken away so fast!”

Mr. Dodds is aware of students concerns, stating, “There are many factors that weighed on my decision. I have no problem discussing those issues with anyone who is really concerned about it. The yearbook is meant to represent the Walsh Jesuit community in a positive way. I cannot let individuals take away from that.

Whether class members are in agreement with the decision or against it, one senior holds out hope for a third chance. Preslee Keown stated, “I hope there is a way for us to come back and be able to put the quotes back in.”