The Daily Gamecock

In our opinion: Sequestration of USC, education unacceptable

For months and months, we’ve speculated and complained about the implications of sequestration on our nation. But as we’ve wrapped ourselves up in macro political theories, we’ve overlooked the most immediate effect of sequestration, one that has taken a huge blow on our own university.

When sequestration kicked in around a month ago, USC lost a whopping 8.4 percent in federal funds. This cut in federal funding means that USC has $12 million less to give out for research, which means both students and professors will now have a harder time obtaining grants and fellowships. While we don’t know exactly what will happen to financial aid yet, scholarships, work study opportunities and other aid for students are all on the chopping block.

We know that USC is not at fault for any of this, and now that sequestration’s effects have settled in, there’s no point in playing the blame game. However, what we can do now is to try to ameliorate those effects and ensure that we lose a little as possible.

So while USC flounders to make ends meet, we urge our representatives in Congress to remember the importance of higher education. Cutting funding means that aspiring students will not go to college. It means that we cannot invest in research and development. It means that we cannot better educate our population, which consequently means that we, as an already-suffering state, cannot progress. We want our representatives to know that ultimately, sequestration doesn’t just affect the university as a whole. It affects us as individuals.

As deliberation continues in Washington, we hope that our representatives keep this in mind. Some things can be sacrificed when times are tough, but education is not one of them.