I’m sure everyone’s just about settled back into an academic routine and just realizing how #TextbookBroke you are. A hard lesson to learn in 2018 is that textbooks haven’t gotten any cheaper. In the basement of the University Community Centre last week, the University Students’ Council was encouraging everyone to share, post and tweet how #TextbookBroke they are with their textbook receipts. Our team chatted with students about the realities of unaffordable textbooks and the need to replace them with free, open educational resources (OERs or open textbooks).
I’ve heard over and over from students that we need to do something about how expensive textbooks are. eCampusOntario, the government-funded not-for-profit corporation currently hosting the online, free textbook library, has reported that as much as 57 per cent of students aren’t purchasing a required textbook because of the cost. This is exactly why my team and the USC will continue to advocate to the university and to the provincial government to turn free, openly-licensed textbooks into a reality.
The #TextbookBroke campaign is about getting the conversation going with your faculty. If you haven’t reached out to your professor yet and inquired about introducing a free, open textbook into the classroom, now is the time. This email template can be sent to your professor to spark a conversation with them on why free, open textbooks are going to make all the difference for you.
And the campaign isn’t over! Tweet, share or post your receipt, and let @Westernusc and @OUSA know exactly how #TextbookBroke you are for a chance to win Toronto Raptors tickets or even up to $200 back on your textbooks.
— Landon Tulk, University Students' Council vice-president