A historic snapshot of the U.S. population will be captured by the 2010 Census and Hobart and William Smith Colleges will have a key role in assuring the accuracy of that data as a partner in the Census Bureau’s survey efforts this spring.
The U.S. Constitution requires a national census every 10 years to count the population and determine the number of seats each state will have in the U.S. House of Representatives. As College students reside at their college or university for the majority of the year, they are required to be accounted for at the institution. HWS’ Office of Residential Education is working with representatives from the Census Bureau to help distribute Census forms to HWS students and ensure they are filled out.
“Our students are a very informed, involved and active population who were among the largest group of voters in the most recent Presidential Election,” says Kate McCaffrey, director of residential education at HWS. “I’m confident they will once again rise to the opportunity to participate in government by filling out Census forms.”
The Census data, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, affects college and university tuition grant and loan programs; is used to establish fair-market rents and enforce fair lending practices; and helps employers understand the next generation of workers (thereby having impact on recruitment). It is also used to help determine locations for new schools, roads and hospitals.
Many HWS students are probably intimately familiar with Census data as research, statistical profiles and reports across a number of science and social science disciplines relies on census data. Since the Census is only taken once every 10 years, this new data will directly impact the majority of students now at the Colleges by giving them up-to-date data with which to formulate their research.
In March, forms will be mailed or delivered to students living off-campus, and to students living in on-campus housing from April to May. International students and non-U.S. citizens are also required to complete the form and be counted. As the Census is supposed to be a count of everyone living in the United States on “Census Day,” April 1, 2010, those studying abroad at that time should not be counted. The Colleges will be including information about the Census in their e-newsletter to parents so they understand they are not to include their student as a resident when they complete their Census forms.
The 2010 Census form is short – expected to take approximately 10 minutes to complete and is confidential. By law, the respondents’ answers cannot be shared with anyone.
Students are encouraged to share in the Colleges’ efforts to provide information about the 2010 Census and promote timely completion of the Census forms. Interested students or student groups should contact McCaffrey at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Census Bureau is hiring more than 1 million employees to help execute the 2010 Census; there will be temporary jobs available. Visit www.2010censusjobs.gov for more information about employment opportunities.