Letter to the Editor: Celebrating Open Access Week at GVSU


Autumn Mueller, Student Senate Educational Affairs Vice President

Open Access week is such an important week during any college academic year. Open Access is a widespread event that is celebrated internationally about promoting access to knowledge, highlighting activities that are ‘open’ and free, and advancing actions that will help make educational materials more freely available to educators and students.

Open Educational Resources refer to textbooks, learning objects and other educational materials as free to use as they are open, have few to no access restrictions and most can be freely remixed and customized. The University Libraries and Open Access leaders at GVSU support open educational resources in order to benefit our community, exchange ideas, share research, remove barriers to education, inspire new ideas, develop collaboration and build a sustainable future for maintaining open access for all.

Personally, Open Access means so much to students all around the world because we are given the opportunity to learn through free materials. These free materials are often from scholars, authors and journalists who published their work with free online access for anyone to use. Having free online access promotes collaboration, recognition, citations and getting more readers invested in certain topics. 

Professors and departments at Grand Valley State University have been widespread supporters of this initiative, and that’s why as a campus we celebrate this event.

On Thursday, Oct. 24, GVSU Libraries and Student Senate will be co-hosting the Open GVSU Symposium. This event will be taking place in the Mary Idema Pew Library in the Atrium level, in the Multipurpose Room 030 from 1:30-4 p.m. If you’re looking for a LIB 100 approved event to attend, this is the one.

During this event, there will be round table discussions from Rob Rozema from the English Department, Sandra Spoelstra from the Kirkhof College of Nursing, Star Swift from the Seidman College of Business, Sarah King from Integrative, Religious and Intercultural Studies, and a representative from the Office of Sustainability.

These discussions will mainly focus on how and why these classes, departments and colleges use open-access materials. Student Body President Eric-John Szczepaniak and Educational Affairs Vice President Autumn Mueller will be discussing how open access has affected the lives of students and themselves. Join the conversation with faculty, staff and students at the Open GVSU Symposium.