The federal government mandates a census or nationwide count of every person residing in the United States. It asks 10 basic questions to each household in America taking, a “snapshot” of the current population.

John Kaulfus, associate dean of students, said that the most private question on the census form is the birthday question.

“If anyone says they are from the Census Bureau and they want your Social Security Number, don’t give it to them,” Kaulfus said.

According to the Census 2010 handout, the Census Bureau is prohibited from disclosing any information about individual students to any other organization, including other federal agencies and law enforcement entities.

Therefore, students should not feel like their personal information will be compromised by the questionnaire. “The census is purely statistical, and it is used by the federal government to allocate money to states and communities, help decision-making for roads and hospitals, and will determine representation in the House of Representatives,” Kaulfus said.

The census will be sent out March 15 with a suggested postmark of April 1. Census workers will visit households that do not return the questionnaires by the due date.

Kaulfus said the census is important for UTSA because it ensures the school will receive an accurate amount of money from federal, state and county funding. He said students who are away from family feel that they don’t need to fill the census out, because they think their parents will do it for them. However, the census counts the population on a household basis and the census filed by one household cannot represent a family member who lives at another address.

UTSA wants students to be aware of the census. UTSA’s education efforts will focus on two main areas: on-campus houses and apartments surrounding the school.

The Census Bureau will send out bulk packets to those who live in “group living quarters.” Group quarters are defined as a place where people live or stay in a group living arrangement that is owned or managed by a third party.

Examples of group quarters include dormitories and military barracks. Those who live on campus will get their questionnaire from their Resident Assistant (RA). Those who do not live on campus will be mailed a census form around March 15.

UTSA promoted the census through the Census Kick Off party on Feb. 19. It was located on the University Paseo and featured the Elijah Zane Band for entertainment. UTSA President Ricardo Romo, Matt de Leon, and Congressman Charlie Gonzalez all gave spoke about the census.

A touring bus that promoted the census through interactive kiosks and allowed students to take pictures to represent the U.S. population. There were stands promoting jobs for the Census Bureau.

UTSA also encourages students through the Rowdystock, on March 27. Rowdystock is an outdoor concert that will feature many UTSA student bands. UPS will also be present to collect questionnaires from students to turn in to the Census Bureau. Those who turn in their census will receive a free t-shirt from the school. Students interested in getting their band registered for Rowdystock should contact Campus Activity Board at (210) 458-4727.

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