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The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The U.S. government affects students

Illustration by Harrison Moore

The U.S. is a complex topic that could easily be used to start a strong debate or a heated argument. But how much does the average U.S. citizen really know about what the government is doing?

On Oct. 1, a government shutdown was narrowly avoided. An article from The Brookings Institution said a government shutdown occurs when Congress does not approve a spending plan for federal agencies. Because of this, federal agencies would not be able to pay their employees or spend any money if Congress did not pass the short-term funding bill on Sept. 29.

However, because the bill was passed, the shutdown did not go through. The harsh reality is, if a shutdown were to ever happen, students could very well be affected.

College students need to become more aware of what is happening within the government because it allows them to be more aware of their rights and how those rights can be protected.

If a shutdown were to occur, the Department of Education would be directly affected. A Reuters article said student loans would continue to be paid, however, they would most likely be disrupted.

This is where Texas State students would be directly affected. At Texas State, about 56% of all students take out loans provided by the federal government. In the event of a shutdown, these loans would be stopped.

It can be argued that college students “know enough” about the government. Most students pay attention during election time, but most of the time, that is all they do. In the 2016 election, only half of U.S. citizens from the age of 18-29 voted. Though the turnout was 3% higher than the 2012 election, the numbers were still distressingly low. Despite the 2020 election showing a steady increase in student voting, it has been proven that post-election interest in politics drops about 20% when compared to political interest during the time of elections.

Educating oneself during election time is an incredibly significant task in order to better the country. However, it is arguably equally important to keep up with what goes through the Congress floor throughout the year.

It is vital to keep up with what is happening in the country in order to know what can be done to help. U.S. citizens have rights put in place by the constitution that allow for changes within the country, including the right to peacefully protest, the right to free speech and most importantly, the right to vote.

Students at Texas State must learn the importance of educating themselves about what is going through Congress and what the government is in the process of doing. We are all capable of empowering change and we should not be afraid to do so.

-Emma Hall is a journalism sophomore

The University Star welcomes Letters to the Editor from its readers. All submissions are reviewed and considered by the Editor-in-Chief and Opinions Editor for publication. Not all letters are guaranteed for publication.

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  • J

    J.ElliottOct 28, 2023 at 12:09 pm

    According to this column, 56 percent of the students are on Student aid, so indebtedness for some is built into higher education, there must be a better way.