No ROTC spending during shutdown


A female ROTC cadet crouches during a ROTC field exercise.

By James Green

NIU’s Reserve Officers Training Corps has not seen drastic challenges yet, but may face complications as the government shutdown continues.

The shutdown entered its second week Monday with negotiations for a resolution ongoing. While students may not notice the shutdown’s influence right away, the ROTC has felt the effects: Lt. Col. David Dosier said two Department of Defense civilians had been furloughed but were approved to return to work this week.

Dosier said the ROTC is not allowed to spend any money during the shutdown, putting financial constrictions on the department. As a result, a planned training event was canceled, and future events may be difficult to maintain.

Three government vehicles in the ROTC’s possession cannot be operated due to fuel costs. The ROTC cannot award scholarships or accept any military contracts during the shutdown; however, the ROTC cadre is committed to keeping things running as smoothly as possible.

“We’re still doing everything we can to keep training our cadets,” Dosier said. “We’re modifying our training to stay within the constraints of the shutdown.”

Depending on the shutdown’s length, the ROTC may see more severe changes. Cadet Capt. Lauren Hansen-Armendariz said if the shutdown continues, cadets may see delays in their payment.

“We have faith in our program and our leaders,” Hansen-Armendariz said. “We know our cadre will support us.”

The shutdown came after Congress failed to pass a budget for the upcoming fiscal year. Political science professor Scot Schraufnagel said the Senate passed such a resolution 100 votes to zero.

Many members of the House and Senate believe there are enough votes in the House to approve the resolution, but Schraufnagel said some House Republicans are blocking a popular vote.

“It’s a lack of civility and a lack of adherence to legislative norms,” Schraufnagel said. “It’s going on in the public to a certain extent, but it’s also happening in a very big way in Congress. All it does is create a stalemate.”