During the months of March and April, Colorado State University students will join people across the United States as they stand up to be counted during Census 2000.
Historically, student populations have been under represented in the national census–an effort that aims to count each individual living in the United States. This year, the Colorado State University community is making special efforts to ensure that all students, faculty and staff are counted.
"We are striving for 100 percent participation from students," said Alfred Flores, director of Apartment Life at Colorado State. "The results from the census not only affects students while they’re attending the university, but also affects their future employment, housing and community service options."
Student participation in Census 2000 is important because student representation helps establish fair market rent, determine quality of programs and recreation facilities in the community and assist employers with demographics to help in the future hiring of employees. Statistics from the census also are used in medical research, disaster relief efforts, spotting trends in the country’s economic well-being and forecasting future housing needs for all segments of the population. These statistics, known to be reliable and accurate, often are used by students and faculty for research papers.
The United States Constitution mandates a census ever ten years. The census slogan this year is "How America Knows What America Needs." Everyone who lives in the United States is required to participate. The census results provide information to assist local governments in allocating funds for new roads and bridges, locating police and fire resources and planning new schools and libraries. The census determines the allocation of billions of dollars of state and federal funding available for schools, job centers and playgrounds. Employers use census numbers to establish job-site locations, which help industries reduce financial risk and determine what products to produce. Census results also are used to determine how much representation each state will have in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The Census 2000 promotional van will be on campus March 17. The van features informative videos, five portable exhibits in multiple languages and buttons, pens, pencils, balloons, lapel pins and refrigerator magnets to remind people to fill out their forms. Posters, flyers and information tables in residence halls and the Lory Student Center also will promote awareness on campus.
Students living off campus will receive census forms in their mailboxes starting March 20. Students sharing housing off campus should each be named on the same form. Students not living with their parents are required to fill out their own forms. Students should be counted at the address they reside on April 1. This may be different from their voting, legal or permanent residence. Census forms are due April 6 and should be returned via U.S. mail.
Most census forms take 10 minutes to complete. Subjects include name, age, relationship, race and whether the home is owned or rented. One in six people will receive the long form which includes more extensive questions.
For students living in residence halls or in fraternity or sorority houses, a census official will distribute forms and give instructions about returning the form. These forms will be distributed on April 3 and are due April 6.
All information provided on census forms is confidential. The Census Bureau’s policy on confidentiality dates back 150 years. The recent privacy law, Title 13 of the U.S. Code, further ensures confidentiality.
For more information about Census 2000 at Colorado State University, contact Flores at (970) 491-4743, or Marsha Benedetti, director of Off-Campus Student Services and Resources for Adult Learners, at (970) 491-2248. For additional information about the census in Colorado or throughout the United States, visit the Census Bureau’s Internet site at http://www.census.gov.