The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Census officials ensure Marquette students count

On April 6, the U.S. Census Bureau will collaborate with Marquette’s Office of Residence Life to take an administrative count of all students and faculty living in Marquette housing facilities for the 2010 U.S. Census.

Students living in on- and off-campus houses and apartments are required by law to complete their census forms as Milwaukee residents and return them by mail.

Rick Arcuri, associate dean for administration, said bureau officials will be provided with complete phonebook information of all students listed as living in a Marquette residence. Officials will also be escorted through the residence halls to take a random sampling for the census.

While several upperclassmen said they were hesitant to mail back their census information, some students have taken the lead in making sure the information is completed.

Lauren Frey, a junior in the College of Business Administration and Alpha Phi sorority president, said she would complete the census for the other women living in the Alpha Phi house, 1435 W. Kilbourn Ave.

“I think it is very important that every student participate in the census and help bring funding to our city,” she said. “It is the least that I can do with my ten minutes.”

If students do not return the forms, bureau officials will visit individual residences. In 2000, the census mail return rate was 68 percent in Milwaukee. Officials are working to increase the mail return rate by 10 percent.

Sharon Robinson, director of the City of Milwaukee’s Department of Administration, stressed the financial importance of individuals returning their census forms on time.

“If we don’t count everyone, we are shortchanging ourselves,” she said.

According to Robinson, for every person in Wisconsin that goes uncounted, the state will lose $1,200 in funding over the next decade.

Although Milwaukee’s budget for census activities has decreased from $500,000 to $100,000 since the last census in 2000, Robinson said the city is taking an aggressive approach to obtaining an accurate census count.

Robinson chairs the Milwaukee Complete Count Committee, which is part of a national Census Bureau program for community and government leaders. Milwaukee’s committee is responsible for ensuring the accuracy and completeness of the city’s census.

“We have homeless outreach, faith-based outreach, minority outreach – we didn’t have that (in the 2000 Census),” Robinson said. “This is a new initiative.”

While local governments are working hard to secure positive census results, the Census Bureau has launched a national “Take 10” media campaign and road tour that encourages participants to take 10 minutes to complete the 10-question census. The 2010 Census Portrait of America Road Tour also sends vehicles to high-profile events throughout the country, such as the Super Bowl.

“The Road Tour seeks to educate and empower every person living across our country to take part and participate in the U.S. Census,” said Robert Groves, director of the Census Bureau, in a press release.

Robinson said some of the greatest challenges in gaining participation stem from the barriers that develop between minorities and a fear of government surveys.

“We are sending trusted faces and voices into the community to communicate with the public,” she said. “We want everyone to know that this information is protected and private.”

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    Jamie RMar 25, 2010 at 9:52 am

    The Census forms were never mailed to Campus Town East residents. So unless they were directed to send them to the main office and filled out by them, this did not happen.