Government Shutdown Affecting Students Who Need Federal Websites
GAINESVILLE - Of all the creative excuses for not finishing a homework assignment, the government shutdown may be the most creative. But it’s a fact of life for many students.
Students are having trouble finishing school assignments because of the lack of resources. A number of federal websites shut down along with the government. Students having to complete papers or projects that require the use of government records are trying to find alternatives. The students I talked to at UF today, tell me some of their professors are even modifying their assignments.
"None of us can get the data that we need to write our papers on," Randi Hall a sociology and economy double major said.
NASA, FTC and the Census are some of the websites that are currently not working due to the government shutdown. "Currently I am trying to write an economic research paper to lead to a thesis and I can’t access any of the U.S. Census data, because the bureau website is down. So it's been a little frustrating for all of my classmates," Hall said.
She's not alone. Victoria Mugica a senior at the University of Florida in the College of Journalism was looking forward to a project in which she had to apply for a Federal Communications Commission license in radio. "You know it kind of robbed us from that opportunity of learning how to deal with the fcc and how to deal with forms and everything," Mugica said.
However her professor had to change things around. "Our professor was able to modify the project and it worked out in everybody's favor I guess but still like I was telling you before, it's not going through what the original assignment was... It may be kind of nerdy or not, but I was looking forward to that."
Despite the shutdown, students are looking for other alternatives. Some of the students I talked to say they are finding themselves in the library a little more often. "I actually scheduled an appointment with Dr. Dave Schrader in library west, he is a librarian here and he's really helpful with research methods... So I sat down with him and he showed me alternative websites I could use to look up data," Hall said.
Mugica says this may be a lesson for the internet consuming population of today to educate themselves. "I think this is a great opportunity for people to get to know what's going on in their government. Be informed. Rather than talking by what somebody says on MSNBC or Fox News."
For a list of alternate websites for census resources, congressional publications and other data, click here.
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