Get educated about Census 2010

This spring, as the decennial United States Census is distributed, the Geneseo college and community is taking steps to make sure that everyone is counted.

Students living off campus should have received census forms over spring break; those living in residence halls will receive the forms from resident assistants in their buildings on Monday.

Off-campus households will receive one census form each. "Each person in an off-campus household must fill out part of the census," said Celia Easton, dean of residential living. Easton is coordinating the college's participation in the census. "It takes about two minutes per person to do it."

Next week, a census representative will be given a roster of every individual on campus that will receive a census. Each form will be labeled and distributed to RAs, and students will have until April 8 to complete their form.

The information collected by the census affects many aspects of public life including how many seats each state occupies in the House of Representatives. The data also is utilized for the allocation of $400 billion of federal funding to hospitals, schools, job training centers, senior centers, public work projects and emergency services. Most Geneseo students reside in Livingston County for most of the year and take advantage of county resources.

"It is important that students fill out the census because the community must make emergency plans for all residents," Easton said. "If the town of Geneseo had to have an emergency evacuation, it has to account for the 5,000 Geneseo students as well as everyone else living in the community. The plan would be wrong if it doesn't include the students."

Tables will be set up in the College Union with further information about the census process.