Despite the termination of nonessential government funding after Tuesday’s budget deadlock, Bowdoin expects no direct financial impacts.
“The College has drawn down the funds it needs for student loans and grants so we don’t expect any financial issues in the near term,” wrote Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration & Treasurer Katy Longley in an email to the Orient.
Though the National Science Foundation is currently closed to funding requests, campus research on grants already procured will continue, according to Longley. For these grants, the College pays research expenses up front and seeks reimbursement later.
Though not directly influencing campus finances, the government shutdown is having immediate effects for members of the Bowdoin community.
Matt Silton ’13, an intern in Brazil for the United States & Foreign Commercial Service, was furloughed on Tuesday when the Department of Commerce announced it would cut funding for their internship program as a result of the shutdown.
“We’ve all been paying attention to the news, and thought it could happen,” said Silton in a Skype interview with the Orient. “I get to work at like 7 a.m., and at 8:30 a.m. one of my bosses just came up to me and said [I could go home]…until this is figured out.”
Silton has been in Brasília, the capital of Brazil, since July, but he said his plans to stay on as an intern until mid-November are jeopardized with the budget impasse.
As a branch of the Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration, the Foreign Commercial Service aims to help U.S. businesses export to other countries. Silton said that out of the Service’s three U.S. employees in Brazil, he was one of two who were furloughed.
“I’m just communicating with them, trying to figure out what to do—we’re kind of in limbo right now,” said Silton. “I’m following the news, taking some downtime.”
When the Orient spoke with Silton, he was about to board a bus back from Pirenópolis, a town famed for its waterfalls and located two-and-a-half hours from Brasília.