University Affairs

University Affairs Department

#TextbookBroke Campaign: January 8th – 19th


From January 8th to 19th, the the Wilfrid Laurier Students’ Union will be teaming up with student unions from the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance for a #TextbookBroke campaign online. We want to promote high-quality, low-cost (free!) alternatives, such as open textbooks.


  • When you finish buying your textbooks for this term, take a photo of your receipt and tag @students_union on Twitter with #TextbookBroke
  • Tell your instructors to check out to see what alternatives might already exist for their current textbook.
  • Come visit the Students’ Union on your campus (in the Concourse in Waterloo, RCW in Brantford) from the 8th – 11th and tell us how much you have spent on textbooks and enter for a draw to win a prize!


The start of Winter term is just around the corner and that means another round of purchasing textbooks and course materials. As we already know, students can spend up to thousands of dollars throughout their education on textbooks – and the cost of textbooks continue to rise every year. Most of the time, the textbooks students buy are not made of much use. Textbook affordability is important to students and increasing textbook costs can create a barrier to completing a post-secondary education. Students that cannot afford to pay for their textbooks end up costing their success in courses that require the purchase of a textbook.

Professors are allowed to adopt and create their own OERs. Instead of purchasing a textbook where one chapter is used, professors are allowed to create an OER, include that one chapter that is used for that specific class, while also adding other specific resources and combine them.

Student Unions across Ontario are teaming up together to run an Open Educational Resource (OER) #TextbookBroke campaign to raise awareness of the costs of textbooks and promote the use of Open Educational Resources.

What are OERs?

  • Online free textbooks
  • Able to download and print
  • Publicly accessible
  • Free

Open Educational Resources is a form of learning that is accessible to individuals on a grand scale. OERs are FREE, making them accessible for learners of all socioeconomic backgrounds.

eCampus Ontario is a current leader in the field of Open Education, offering a variety of educational tools and resources to learners and post-secondary institutions across Ontario.

Visit eCampus’ Open Textbook Library to take a look at FREE PUBLIC TEXTBOOKS that are available so far:

Visit eCampus Ontario’s Website for more information on Open Educational Resources:

What advocacy efforts are being done to get OERs?

The Wilfrid Laurier Students Union is a member of the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA) which is composed of 8 member schools (Western, McMaster, Trent, Laurentian, Brock, Waterloo, and Queens) to advocate at the provincial level. Together, we are the voice of advocacy for the students, representing them on matters concerning academics, access, funding and more at the university, municipal, provincial and federal levels of government. Our approach to advocacy is based on creating substantive, student driven, and evidence-based policy recommendations. Our professional government relations practices ensure that there is access to decision-makers in order for our voices to influence provincial legislation and policy.

This year, we teamed up at Queen’s Park to advocate on Open Educational Resources (OERs). Click here to view our document and list of recommendations to the government of Ontario.

You can also check out for even more information on OERs

University Affairs: What We Do for You

The University Affairs department is the voice of advocacy for the students, representing them on matters concerning academics, access, funding and more at the university, municipal, provincial and federal levels of government. The overall goal is promote a high quality academic and social environment for the students while maintaining fair cost sharing. We are the people who turn student gripes into advocacy, and students are encouraged talk to the UA department about the barriers they face in accessing a high quality, reasonably priced education.


Vice President: University Affairs
519.756.8228 x 3420
Office: Waterloo


Associate Vice President: University Affairs
519.756.8228 x5527
Office: Brantford


Associate Vice President: University Affairs
519.884.0710 x4567
Office: Waterloo

Follow University Affairs on Facebook! @Laurier.UA