Is Tower Clock Becoming Obsolete?

After a dramatic comeback last year, Tower Clock was prepped to have a year with no problems. Instead, students are still concerned about the production of this year’s yearbook and feel it has become outdated.

“Tower Clock is supposed to be about remembering the college days,” says Danny Markowski, assistant Editor-in-Chief. Since 1941, Tower Clock has done just that, publishing a book of memories for that Gallaudet school year. Many who have worked at Tower Clock view it as the history of Gallaudet, and the foundation of the student body. Yet when Markowski conducted his own research on it, he found differently. While Tower Clock has been around since 1941, Markowski found that there “wasn’t even a full paragraph on its founding, it just seems to have been an off-shoot from Buff and Blue.” After this revelation, he speculates, “If there is no strong history, how do we have the foundation?”

Markowski may be left wondering about Tower Clock, but his passion about the organization is obvious. He has been working there for nearly 2 years, and doesn’t believe the problem lies only with Tower Clock, but in the community as well. “Students are not buying the books, but tell us they want them. It’s hypocritical, and the books are just sitting on the shelf.” Markowski also states that the administration feels that the Tower Clock is “no longer necessary” and would rather see a technological version.

Last year’s President, Scott Keller, also noted, “The relationship with Tower Clock and the Community’s support is that there is basically none.” While Keller feels there is a need to go digital as many students are calling for, Markowski views that kind of change unreliable. “CDs are obsolete already, and it’s hard to see the reason behind online books with the need for servers and access.”

The fight between paper or virtual isn’t the only reason Tower Clock has little support. Ruthe-Ellen Auman, a previous photography major, “will never work for them” because of the way they run their office. She doesn’t think the photographers at Tower Clock can take pictures, or even use a camera correctly. Auman stated that there were photos taken at Foster Auditorium that wouldn’t come out correctly, and when presented to Dina Toulan, current Editor-in-Chief, it was decided to just drop the event’s entire page from the yearbook.

With all the Tower Clock staff being paid, Auman wants to “put the money to better use,” especially since they can never seem to publish the books on time. “My high school yearbook was much better than this, and it was on time!” she remarked, “Especially when they get checks as compared to a high school yearbook student staff”. Markowski, stepping aside from his role on as Tower Clock staff, doesn’t agree with the idea of any student organization being paid.  “Looking at other universities, they don’t pay their students,” but Markowski also understands the counter-argument that if there were no paid staff, no one would want to work for these organizations.

With budgets going toward staff, less students purchasing the books, and little community support, Tower Clock has gone through a rough few years. Keller stated that from the start of his year as president, Tower Clock was already behind on four years of yearbook publications. “By assigning the Tower Clock staff to focus on the yearbook [of 2011]… I took over all of the duties of the 2007-2010 yearbook,” Keller stated.  In addition to ensuring book production, Keller fought to keep Tower Clock alive by joining forces with Bison TV “to use the funds … to buy four brand new Mac computers with Adobe Photoshop CS5 software as well as a brand new HDTV to go with it for layout review purposes.” By the end of last year, Tower Clock was back onto its feet with technology and all caught up with their book releases.

But to add to the difficulties, Markowski points out the SBG Director of Media, Student Media Board, as well as Campus Activities is involved in the approval process. They are the ones who ultimately approve the layout and content, making the process tedious.

All of these issues have a hand in the problems within Tower Clock and the yearbook publication. Still students like Bethany Baker are crying for an online or digital version. BeJo Goodridge says that the yearbook as it is “doesn’t fit the style of today.”


Update: Scott Keller noted that the 2011 Tower Clock will be ready by the end of April.

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4 Responses to “Is Tower Clock Becoming Obsolete?”

  1. alumna
    April 18, 2012 at 11:01 AM #

    good writing

  2. Anon
    May 3, 2012 at 11:14 PM #

    Scott Keller took over the production of 2007-2010? Such crock. I personally know they were finished a long time ago but the administration interfered with their publication. Scotty, don’t take credit for others’ hard work again, okay?

  3. Anon
    May 3, 2012 at 11:25 PM #

    As an ex-worker of Tower Clock (2010), I hope our story will be told fully someday, like how the administration made things really difficult for us. Then we get all the blame from students – they didn’t know the role the administration played. By administration, I mean Student Affairs, SMA, and Campus Activities. Mostly SA and CA.

  4. Joe
    July 19, 2012 at 2:16 AM #


    I only have one Tower Clock during my college career. The rest of year Tower Clock never produce a yearbook.

    I do wish there is a copy of Tower Clock for every year of my college career where it can jog my memories.

    Before coming to Gallaudet, I always enjoy going through old Tower Clocks.

    Today, there are Gallaudet Day in my area. It is embarrass to bring 1 Tower Clock book while other alumni bring 4 or 5 copies of their college career.

    The only way to overcome obsolete is to have plenty and plenty of pictures with awesome editorials and captions. The Tower Clock have to be high quality binder with compelling visual art that show a true representation of Gallaudet University, Deaf Culture and salute to that year. It have to be so good that other universities start copying Tower Clock works. It need to be beautiful and awesome so that we can left on our coffee table where we can easy use it as a visual aid to share college stories.

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