Photo | Hana Nikčević

Will Victoria Colleges yearbook remain defunct? 

Since 1977, The Victoriad has been the yearbook of record for Victoria College, but as of this term, the status of the student organization is unclear. 

Their website—not updated since May 2017—states that the yearbooks were supposed to be distributed to students in April, just in time for the annual Vic Lawn Party. This distribution, however, did not occur last spring for the 2016-2017 yearbook. The office of The Victoriad, located in room 150 of the Goldring Student Centre has been replaced by Acta Victoriana. So, what happened? 

According to Zahavah Kay, VUSAC President, who is covering the portfolio of the vacant Vice Present Student Organizations (VPSO) position, The Victoriad’s spring election failed to garner enough interest, leading to “a lack of candidates” and in turn, an almost entirely vacant executive team for the production of the 2017-2018 yearbook. Following the VUSAC fall elections, which will appoint the position of VPSO, Kay states that they will once again attempt to assemble an executive team. In accordance with the VUSAC constitution, if this final attempt does not work, The Victoriad will remain defunct for this school year, but the levy cannot be entirely dissolved until after 24 months have passed without a head.  

The situation has been especially confusing for former staff members of the organization. Alyssa DiBattista, former Associate Editor of The Victoriad, claims that she and the rest of the 2016-2017 team—not including former Editor-in-Chief Brenda Bongolan—were “very caught off-guard” to learn about the current status of the yearbook. DiBattista speculates, “Brenda seemed to be single-handedly in charge of hiring a new Editor-in-Chief and design team, which is not an ideal system. So, it’s possible that the scope of outreach wasn’t broad enough to find a new team.”  

Mercer Pommer, former Design Director of The Victoriad told The Strand that he had difficulties getting in touch with Bongolan over the summer, following the unsuccessful spring election period and yearbook distribution.  

In early June, DiBattista says that the yearbooks were delivered to the VUSAC office, prompting her to ask Bongolan how to proceed. Bongolan responded that she was waiting for the incoming Editor-in-Chief to receive a key to The Victoriad’s office to store them there. However, she never followed through with this plan and DiBattista ended up moving the yearbooks into the office in August. DiBattista continues, “It does seem strange that VUSAC wasn’t more aware of the situation and doing more to support The Victoriad, especially since it was such a small levy.” As of now, distribution of the yearbooks has yet to occur. 

The Victoriad was established after the campus-wide UofT yearbook, The Torontonensis, was disbanded in 1977. It’s possible that the threat of The Victoriad’s discontinuation could provoke the same response.