There is nothing sweet about a 16-day government shutdown. Over one million essential civilian employees worked without pay according to an article by The Guardian. In addition, the shutdown cost the U.S. economy $24 billion, according to Standard & Poor’s, a financial services company.
Florida Gulf Coast University students have been directly affected by the shutdown.
“I’m not willing to comment right now,” Kyle Martin said during a phone interview. Martin studies biology and is working on a project that needed federal funding but was cancelled due to the shutdown. Martin said he was unable to provide details about the project because no concrete data is available for the moment.
J.J. King is a sophomore studying hospitality. King’s mother works for a contractor at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral. King said his mother was not allowed to go to work at the center but worked from home. She was getting paid through holiday funds, but its unclear if she will be paid when the winter break arrives.
“I could think of at least three or four people just on my street that were not working because of it,” Matthew Pecko said.
Pecko’s father works for the Department of Defense in Cocoa Beach, Fla. For the first week of the shutdown, the federal employees at the DOD were furloughed. Pecko’s father returned to work a week later. Pecko said his father would receive back pay for the days he missed.
“I thought it would affect us more, but I talked to my dad, and he made it seem like it wasn’t that big a deal,” Pecko said.
Other FGCU students were not directly affected by the shutdown and commented on the current situation.
Ismary Lopez, a junior studying psychology, said “[It’s] stupid that they [members of Congress] are getting paid.”
Shawn Simon is a senior studying chemistry who described the government shutdown as “funny” and acknowledged that other people might not view the shutdown the same way.
The Legislation has now reopened the government. Members of Congress worked on a rare Saturday session on Oct. 12 to avoid a government default, but it has only funded the federal government through January 15 and has pushed the debt-ceiling deadline to February 7.