University research hurt by the shutdown

While it may not negatively penetrate our daily lives, the government shutdown has and will continue to have significant effects on society.

In what is shaping up to be a generation-defining ideological battle, congressional leaders failed to reach a deal that would avoid what is now a shutdown of all non-essential government entities.

Unless you had a vacation planned to Yellowstone National Park or needed to access the food pyramid on the Department of AgricultureÕs website, you may not have been directly affected by this shutdown.

And for the most part, the effects so far have only been temporary, with the understanding that these resources will once again become available. For example, those students who are still waiting on federal loans and grants will have to wait a few more days.

There is a very apparent area of higher education, however, that is being seriously affected.

For many universities, and particularly the University of Vermont, researchÑboth student and faculty projectsÑhave either seen dramatic setbacks or have come to a standstill.

Public research institutionsÑUVM being a prominent player in this fieldÑdepend, to a large extent, on federal help.

Professors and students depend on grants to enable them to do research in particular fields. Some research projects even require access to national parks, all of which has been halted due to the shutdown.

Without federal funding, researchers at UVM and across the country are forced to abandon or overlook the responsibility they took on in doing their research. Some students, who depend on funding to complete undergraduate research projects, are seeing all of their preparation go to waste and may see their theses go unfinished.

Additionally, much of this countryÕs research is focused on beneficial endeavorsÑwhether that is medicine, sustainable and green technology or the like.

This shutdown, although not visibly detrimental to every individualÕs daily life, is having profound effects on how this country operates. If it continues, these effects will intensify and will inevitably reach our daily lives.

And this is all because a bunch of grumpy old people wonÕt budge from the ideological corner that they have backed themselves into.

If you are following this closely, which we encourage you to do, you should be enraged.