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UW-Eau Claire encourages students
to participate in census

RELEASED: Feb. 11, 2010

Census 2010 logo
Watch the U.S. Census Bureau video "Where Do I Fill Out the Census?"

EAU CLAIRE — Announcements on Facebook, table tents in the dining halls, posters, banners, classroom announcements and door hangers are just a few of the myriad of ways the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire is planning to get the word out to students about the importance of participating in the 2010 U.S. census.

The census, required by the U.S. Constitution, is conducted every 10 years. The Census Bureau counts every person in the United States where they live most of the year.

Students attending UW-Eau Claire need to be counted in Eau Claire, said Jodi Thesing-Ritter, associate dean of students and co-chair of the UW-Eau Claire Complete Count Committee, which is in charge of publicizing the importance of UW-Eau Claire students participating in the 2010 census.

"Census data will affect students in many ways, so we want to educate them about the importance of filling out and returning the 2010 census," Thesing-Ritter said. "Census numbers are used to allocate federal funds to states and communities, which affects funding for education and college tuition grant and loan programs. The census information is used to make decisions about funding critical services in the academic community, like transportation and public safety, and informs and supports important research done by college faculty and students."

Students will be assisting in efforts to get fellow students to fill out and return the census, said Katelyn Kufahl, a UW-Eau Claire Student Senate representative co-chairing the UW-Eau Claire Complete Count Committee.

"Students will be handing out literature on the campus mall, manning information tables at events, visiting classrooms to make announcements and placing informational materials around campus, among other things," Kufahl said. "We know the census data will have an impact on our university so it's important that we do our part to get student participation."

Thesing-Ritter said students living off campus or with family members will receive their census questionnaire in the mail in March. Census takers will coordinate with Housing and Residence Life staff to distribute and collect census questionnaires in residence halls between April 1 and May 15.

"Students studying abroad April 1 will not be counted," Thesing-Ritter said."International students attending UW-Eau Claire, however, do need to fill out the census."

According to the Census Bureau, the census is 10 questions long and asks about people living in the household — including name, age, date of birth, sex and race — and questions about the household in general. The Census Bureau notes that the information is completely confidential. By law, the information cannot be shared with anyone, including government agencies, law enforcement or courts.

"We want students to know there are very good reasons to participate in the census and no reason not to," Thesing-Ritter said.

For more information on the 2010 census, go to the United States Census 2010 Web page. For information regarding UW-Eau Claire's efforts to maximize participation, contact Jodi Thesing-Ritter at thesinjm@uwec.edu or 715-836-2325.

-30-

KH/DW

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