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Campus partners will host OER symposium

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Posted on October 15, 2019

More than 75 percent of students surveyed reported they skipped buying or renting a textbook due to the cost.

This statistic, from a survey by University Libraries, calls to attention the expense of textbooks. University Academic Senate, Student Senate and the Office of the Provost, along with other campus partners support a universitywide commitment to Open Educational Resources (OER).

OER initiatives are focused on openly licensed textbooks, paywall-free academic publishing, and greater sharing of research data.

A fall semester survey by University Libraries asked 412 students their responses about the cost of textbooks: 95 percent of students who skipped buying a textbook were concerned about their grade in the course, 56 percent said they would buy groceries or healthier food if they didn't have to spend money on textbooks. The average Grand Valley student spends about $330 per semester on textbooks.

University Libraries will host "Open GVSU Symposium" on Thursday, October 24, from 1:30-4 p.m. in the Mary Idema Pew Library, room 030. Students, faculty and staff will learn more about OER, share experiences and connect with resources. Register online at More information is online at

Eric-John Szczepaniak, president of Student Senate, said: "Students are struggling and are painfully aware that their financial situation may not set them up for success. It is up to us to change that."

The symposium coincides with International Open Access Week, October 21-27.