College to distribute census forms

This spring, each student at the College will be required to fill out a 2010 United States Census form. Once every 10 years, the U.S. Census Bureau takes a count of everyone who resides in the country, regardless of citizenship. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the census aims to count people in the places where they live for the majority of the year, and thus prefers for college students to fill out their questionnaires at school.

Students living in dormitory housing are included in the “group quarters” portion of the census and will receive forms in their SU boxes in April or May. Family homes, including off-campus houses, will receive forms in March. Students will be able to return completed forms to a drop box in the mailroom, and should not count themselves on their parents’ forms at home.

The Census Bureau’s Web site emphasizes the importance of making sure that every student is counted. According its Web site, “Census data affect and inform college tuition grant and loan programs, decisions about funding critical services in [our] academic community and important research.”

Chris Winters, director of institutional research, is coordinating census activities on campus. According to Winters, the census will only entail seven questions.

Winters underscored the importance of completing the census forms. “Some people believe that a congressional seat is on the line for Massachusetts, so it is especially important to count everyone who lives in Massachusetts,” he said.