Nutmeg Publishing urges community to increase funding

Nutmeg publishing business manager, Lindsey Rodrigues talks about budget during weekly meeting on Jan 24, 2017. The publishing company is asking for a $2 fee increase for the fall of 2019. (Jason Jiang/The Daily Campus)

Nutmeg Publishing has been creating yearbooks for the University of Connecticut since 1915, and their yearbooks have become somewhat of a tradition at the university. But the recent refusal of granting additional funding could halt the production of yearbooks in the coming years.

Nutmeg Publishing has been a part of the UConn community and history for over 100 years.

“There is enough money to produce a 2017 yearbook and possibly a 2018 yearbook, but the extinction of the 2019 yearbook looks like our future without the $2 fee increase for the fall of 2019,” Nutmeg Publishing Editor and Chief Amy Bortey said.

In 2014, Nutmeg appealed to the Student Fee Advisory Committee (SFAC), and tried to increase the price of the activity fee bill by $2 but were denied, Bortey said.

In 2015, UConn’s Board of Trustees decided that they would not increase the activity fee for at least the next two years.

In 2016, SFAC agreed to increase the price on the activity fee for students from $3 to $5, but the increase was denied by the Board of Trustees due to the 2015 enactment regarding activity fees.

“Since Nutmeg has been part of the activity fee bill, the organization has received three dollars per semester; six dollars a year. The amount is the lowest out of the seven Tier-III organizations,” Bortey said.

The yearbook is sent out to all students after they graduate regardless of whether they are from the United States or are international. This poses a problem because the cost is expensive and has only gotten more so, Bortey said.

“At the current rate, a typical four-year student pays a total of $24 (granted they are at Storrs all four years). Including factors such as production costs, which are between $120,000-$140,000, the shipment of the books to all graduating students who live across the United States in addition to all international students who have attended UConn, (that’s a) price tag of around $32,000,” Bortey said.

Staff members who work at Nutmeg are also paid employees, receiving $12 for contributions to the publishing company such as photography or writing stories. This is in addition to the senior staff and executive board of Nutmeg.

Nutmeg Publishing has done as much as they can to cut back on prices due to budget cuts.

“Cutting pages, selecting inexpensive cover options, and unfortunately reverting back to regular paper since we could no longer afford the eco-friendly paper that the Nutmeg used to be printed on,” Bortey said.

Nutmeg also has their own magazine, which is free to students and gives seniors the opportunity to take portraits which will appear in the yearbook at no additional cost.

“In summary, would you rather have a yearbook that brings you back to your time at UConn or Starbucks coffee that will bring you happiness for five minutes?” Bortey said.


Caesar Valentin is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at Caesar.valentin@uconn.edu.