CUNY University Student Senate Endorses OER

This month, the University Student Senate (an elected body of student representatives from across the 24 CUNY colleges) voted to endorse Open Educational Resources (OER).

The resolution, released on February 23, 2019, addresses key points relating to open resources as a whole, especially the final resolution – “the University Student Senate encourages the City University of New York to offer the support needed to faculty in order to adopt open textbooks .” This line hones in on a primary issue in terms of OER adoption, which is the time and labor needed to assess and adopt these new materials, and integrate them into existing courses.

The USS also notes that “textbook publishers have not responded adequately to the concerns of student faculty, and other stakeholders,” particularly in terms of cost effectiveness for textbooks. This has been the driving factor behind the development of OER as a worldwide phenomenon: the potential to resist the traditional model, in which publishers develop copyrighted materials, and sell them at high cost to students and educators.

In the context of OER efforts at CUNY, student awareness has been a primary goal – encouraging the use of open resources, and making students aware of Zero Textbook Cost (ZTC) courses through CUNYFirst. The statement from USS thereby marks a significant turning point at CUNY, where the generalized student need for low-cost materials now seems to be turning into a focused and direct advocacy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *