In case you haven’t heard, the federal government officially shut down last night at midnight. Before you start freaking out, the government has shut down seventeen times since 1976 and we’re all still here. That being said, it will shut down all non-essential services, including important social programs. But don’t worry; members of Congress will still get paid, in case you were worried about them.
All of this business about the shutdown led me to the question of what would happen if UGBC were to shut down. I’m not entirely sure what would lead to a UGBC shutdown, but let’s pretend it’s in the realm of possibility. What would we lose?
The first non-essential service to go would be Homecoming. For most of the school, that wouldn’t be a big issue, but for the juniors and seniors (and UGBC underclassmen) it would be a huge disappointment. Boston College doesn't have formal dances like other schools, including Georgetown and Fairfield, making homecoming the only chance students have to get dressed up. Without Homecoming, everyone would be resigned to another night on campus, probably spent in a sweaty Mod.
If UGBC shutdown we would also lose PEPS, an important tool for conflicted students when class registration rolls around. How could we all pick classes with the easiest professors and least amount of work without PEPS to guide us? How would we determine whether or not our math professor would be a native English speaker? We would be lost in a sea of classes and professors with indistinguishable names, left to rely on older friends for their sage advice. The system would crumble. Add/drop period would be chaos with students frantically transferring out of classes, having had no idea what they were getting themselves into.
Next to go would be concerts – okay, maybe that wouldn’t be too bad. The only thing we’d really miss out on would be having someone to blame for the low turnout at the Fall Concert. Like our federal government, UGBC seems to have good ideas and intentions but sometimes fails in execution.
Lastly we would lose BC2Boston, and with it every apple-picking, autumnal-themed, joy-bringing "field trip" that the group so readily provides for BC students in need of a study break. These school sponsored events and trips into Boston allow students to get out of the BC bubble and explore the city. The frequently sold out events attract lots of interest and make Boston accessible for everyone. These trips don’t make or break a college experience, but they’re a nice service provided by our student government.
Okay, okay, let's cut to the chase.
Doesn't this whole concept sound ridiculous? You bet it does. The concept of the UGBC shutting down is facetious and is just as asinine as what's happening in Washington DC. We may not NEED the services provided by UGBC, but everyone likes to go apple picking or to an O.A.R. concert once in a while. Likewise, we may not all NEED federal services, but a hefty percentage of our fellow citizens rely on these daily benefits. Americans from all walks of life will be hurt by the government shutdown, through being furloughed from work to having Social Security claims processed, just in an attempt by the Tea Party Republicans to prove a political point.
Obamacare went through the legal, democratic process of becoming a law: it was passed by Congress, and signed by the president. Despite constitutional challenges, it was upheld by the Supreme Court. In the past election, Americans reaffirmed their support of the law by re-electing President Obama. The shutdown is an affront to the democratic process and the will of the people, and those responsible should be held accountable at the voting booth next election.Featured Image by Emily Akin/ Gavel Media.