Keene State College students and faculty are lucky that they have been largely unaffected by the longest government shutdown in American history. Because Federal Student Aid was not directly affected by the shutdown, students at Keene State College were mostly unaffected, unless they or members of their families worked for the federal government. Students who worked for the government or interned in federal programs were affected however.
Professor ArmağanGezici said that while KSC has been relatively unaffected by the government shutdown, it’s possible that it could have been affected harder. Any students dependent on the federal government would have been affected by the shutdown, as would any federal employees on campus.
The most likely way that students would have been affected by the shutdown would have been if the shutdown affected FAFSA. Fortunately for students relying on financial aid, the Department of Education was one of the departments with a budget that was already approved.
Therefore FAFSA and other forms of federal student aid were largely not impacted by the shutdown, but students attempting to file FAFSA paperwork during the shutdown may have had problems.
“I have one student whose internship was delayed by the shutdown, but she’s now back to work.” Gezici said. “She has a position with the Agricultural Development Agency. It is a state agency that she is interning for, but they got most of their funding from the federal government.”
When the shutdown started, the ADA offices in Vermont closed. Fortunately, the shutdown began over winter break and ended shortly after the spring semester began, so this student’s internship was relatively unaffected.
Associate Professor of Political Science at KSC William Bendix wrote, “Until major federal services were disrupted, most Americans didn’t notice the shutdown. And the shutdown ended before these disruptions were truly widespread.”
Gezici closed with: “It’s a weird mechanism how the federal government can shut down. It’s weird that we have a system in place like that, and I think that from this point on lawmakers will look into the possibility of eliminating that, and that’s a reasonable thing to do I think.” Gezici said she has a friend who works at the University of Massachusetts Amherst who was applying for a grant from the National Science Foundation, which is an agency that was affected by the shutdown. This delayed her application process considerably.
Lucy Smith is a senior at KSC, who is employed by the federal government. She declined request for interview, because she did not feel comfortable answering questions, but said that she was impacted by the shutdown.
“The shutdown was about a wall, as we heard about it,” said Professor Armagan Gezici. Professor Gezici said that The House of Representatives and President Trump could not agree on a budget for 2019. “The House and The President couldn’t come to an agreement over how to allocate resources and how much money to put into border security.” President Trump decided not to approve of the budget for certain offices, which lead to the government shutting down.
Despite President Trump’s promise to shutdown the government again in a few weeks if funding for the border wall is not allocated, Gezici does not think that this will happen. When asked about this she said, “Well, there is speculation, but it seems very risky at this point for them to go through [with shutting down the government again]”. Gezici cited national security and public safety reasons for why she felt that the government would not shut down again.
can be contacted at