Greenberg ’20 Spearheads Census Count – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Greenberg ’20 Spearheads Census Count

Every 10 years, the United States takes a count of every resident in the country. This year, Alex Greenberg ’20 is playing an important role in that endeavor, working with students who live off-campus to ensure they are counted in the 2020 U.S. Census.

A philosophy major and women’s studies minor, Greenberg grew interested in the Census after learning that some people feel intimidated about filling it out, while others may not realize the importance of an accurate and representative response rate. While speaking with staff from the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning, she discovered an opportunity to help ensure HWS student representation as Geneva community members.

After participating in webinars, sitting in on the Geneva community Census Planning Committee and attending the Andrew Goodman Foundation workshop at the University of Rochester, Greenberg learned that students who live off campus will not have their HWS directory information, which is publicly available, automatically uploaded to the Census database the way on-campus students will, as required by Census regulations.

“It has been very helpful to have Alex leading the charge to help off-campus students understand the importance of Census data and the impact to the Geneva community,” says Assistant Dean of Student Engagement Shelle Basilio.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Greenberg’s current focus has shifted away from convening students to using Instagram posts to encourage students to reply to Census requests through the online portal, as directed on the postcards they received at their off-campus apartments.

Greenberg’s work has included visiting the “Social Innovation” course taught by Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies Craig Talmage, sharing information at Shabbat dinner and speaking with members of the Public Leadership Education Network and William Smith Congress. During the Congress to Campus event, she facilitated a conversation about the impact on the Geneva community’s budget of having all HWS students counted with former U.S. Congressional members Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) and Ann Marie Buerkle (R-NY).

“I was heartened to see how receptive my peers were to learning about the Census, how the responsibility resonated with them and that they were willing to engage in the conversation about the implications of a high student response rate for the Geneva community,” Greenberg says.

A Heron tennis player, Greenberg serves as a tutor in the HWS Tutors Corps program at the Boys and Girls Club, house manager for the Heron’s Nest and on the Title IX coordinating committee.

The photo above features Alex Greenberg ’20 talking with students at Shabbat.