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Brandeis to be impacted little by government shutdown

Published: October 4, 2013
Section: News


In the aftermath of the shutdown of the federal government, Brandeis will experience minimal impact. Most services will still be available, including financial aid and research operations, although some federal website resources have been negatively affected.

PubMed, a resource many students access to find scientific journal articles, will still be operational during the shutdown, as long as major technical malfunctions do not occur. Associate University Librarian for Collections Sherry Keen wrote in an email to The Hoot, however, that “We have been notified by many of the Government libraries, including Library of Congress that interlibrary loan (resource sharing) services are closed.”

Other government-run websites are currently unavailable, including census.gov, American Factfinder, USDA.gov and NOAA.gov, among others.

Director of Financial Aid Sherri Avery commented that financial aid will remain largely unaffected if the shutdown is temporary. “Since the Pell Grant and Direct Loan programs (the largest federal financial aid programs we administer) were appropriated prior to the shutdown, we are still able to award and receive funds from these programs for all eligible Brandeis students. During the shutdown, students may also continue to work under the Federal Work-Study program and the online federal financial aid application remains available to all students who wish to apply for federal aid at this point in the semester,” she wrote.

In regards to scientific research, labs will remain open on campus, although federal funding agencies are unable to accept proposals during the shutdown. Ellen de Graffenreid, senior vice president for communications, wrote, “We have substantial existing funding for projects that use prior federal fiscal year authorizations, so those projects can continue.” Research at Brandeis should be able to continue as originally planned even if the shutdown is prolonged.

Although administrators are optimistic that the shutdown will have few lasting effects on most campus activities, it is unclear what may happen if the shutdown continues for a long period. “It is a complex, ongoing situation that can be affected by all kinds of different factors,” wrote de Graffenreid.