Since the new fiscal year began Oct. 1, there has been a lot of talk on social media and in the press about the consequences of the government shutdown. Who and what does the shutdown really affect, and what do students on campus have to say about it?
The government’s budget crisis is a direct hit to some students’ budgets. Rene S., sophomore paralegal studies major, said, “I could lose student loan money and my grandfather, who is a veteran, will lose his benefits if the government shuts down.”
Other students don’t feel affected by the shutdown. Meredith Bennett, a freshman elementary education major, said, “I am honestly very confused by it…I think it’s odd that they couldn’t agree on anything and I think it’s crazy that they are shutting everything down. I just hope that this stops soon.”
Allison Gilliard, a grad student studying vocal performance, said, “I think it’s unfortunate that people are out of work right now …all of the Facebook posts are certainly annoying.”
Some students are more actively involved in the politics of the situation, and have been following the partisan causes of the crisis. Kacie W., a junior history major, blames the Republican party. “[The Affordable Care Act] was passed into law, signed into law and upheld by the Supreme Court. If members of the current Congress don’t like that, then they need to come up with a better law, not try and hold the country hostage because they didn’t get their way…”
Tori Carr, 18, of Purvis sees it from the other side. “It’s just a ploy to get the American people to blame the Republicans for it so the Democrats can gain more power…Obamacare has already cost a lot of people more money than they can afford.”
Most students are just fed up with everyone on Capitol Hill. “It’s utterly ridiculous to think that depriving citizens of their rightful government will do anything productive. It’s essentially a giant politicians’ temper tantrum,” said Brittany Elizabeth Strother, a senior advertising major
Junior Sean Daniel Murphy blames Congress at large. “Our Congress could focus on better issues and do so much more than squabble like this and make everyone else pay for it,” he said.
Carr is actually excited by the shutdown. “The whole government should shut down so we can create a new one,” she said. “Neither side is abiding by the Constitution, or by what the American people actually want.”
This raises a good question: What do the American people actually want? Since the crisis was caused by the most democratic branch of our government, it’s hard to tell. Most students are ready for the shutdown to be over and for business to continue as usual.