By Lillian Linscott
The government shutdown became the longest in U.S. history as it ended on its 35th day. The shutdown began when President Donald Trump called for the building of a wall between the United States and Mexico. The United States Congress did not wish to approve the funds for the wall.
Because of this shutdown, those working in government positions such as homeland security, mail deliverers, law enforcement and many more have been going to work without being paid.
Students at Grand Rapids Community College talked to The Collegiate about their thoughts on the shutdown and the wall. Every student we spoke to displayed a dislike for the occuring events.
“Trump is not considering what it is doing to the country, employees are suffering, it’s quite sad,” said Abby Skidmore, 21, of Ada. “The Statue of Liberty in my opinion embodies hope, the flame of liberty. Trump is kinda making the statue look like a person with a baseball bat saying ‘if you fit the requirement you can come in, but if you don’t fit the requirement we are going to bop you on the head and send you home.’”
When posed the question of what students would do if they were in a situation in which they could solve the problem, students responded with similar solutions.
“I would swat Trump over the head with a newspaper, sit him down and tell him to stop being childish,” Skidmore said.
Rachael Konyndyk, 18, of Grand Rapids said, “It seems like he is letting us down. (The wall is) not worth it, the wall itself is excessive, good for control, but altogether unnecessary, it’s unfair. If I was president, I’d hope I had the necessary knowledge. Trump needs to be more informed and open minded. He needs to accept others ideas and work together.”
Before the government shutdown, some students had been either for the wall or on the fence about the topic. However the longer it stretched out and the more people it affected these students have changed their minds. Ivan Lopez-Arreaga, 19, of Detroit is one of these students, he said it seemed unnecessary at this point.
“Not worth it (the wall), it’s like Trump is throwing a tantrum,” Lopez-Arreaga said. “The wall itself really won’t do much, it’s what it signifies that truly matters. I kinda agree with impeachment at this point because it seems really unnecessary and immature for the president to shut down the government.”
More and more stories are being shared about people’s lives being affected, some are family or friends of GRCC students.
“My uncle is an ambassador of trade, and he’s not getting paid but is still going to work,” said Emma Edlund, 18, of Grand Rapids. “(The shutdown) needs to be stopped…people need to get paid.”
GRCC student Gabriella Sanchez, 18, of Grand Rapids, also has family members being affected by the government shutdown.
“The shutdown is kinda stupid,” Sanchez said. “We need the wall for protection, but there is no point of trying to fix it in one year. My thought is that we don’t need it, there is a lot of other stuff going on. I have friends and family in the military, they go on missions with no pay. The president is wanting the wall, but everyone else is saying to stop. I would make the president think and pay attention.”
Collegiate staffers Molly Mills and Yesenia Santos-Flores contributed on this story.