Census aims to count all students, whether on or off campus

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With the semester in full swing, students are busy with everything from homework to finding jobs.

Senior Lynn Lieser is no different. One of the last things on her mind is the upcoming 2010 census.

“I know we’re going to be getting something in our mail, and it’s important to fill out,” Lieser said.

But Lieser isn’t from St. Paul. She rents a home off campus and doesn’t know if she should fill the census form in St. Paul or back in her hometown.

Josh Hengemuhle, area manager for the commuter center and off-campus services, said students should watch their mailboxes and fill out the form for St. Paul.

“The census is trying to get a count of where you live as of April 1, 2010,” Hengemuhle said. “They want to know where you lay your head at night.”

Students who live on campus will also be counted in St. Paul.

Aaron Macke, director of residence life, says the process for on-campus students will be a little different.

“The census is going to need a roster of whoever is residing in our halls as of April 1, 2010,” Macke said. “We give them that roster, and they create a questionnaire packet for every single resident.”

Residence Life staff, such as hall directors and resident advisers, will assist with the counting of resident students.

Lieser thinks the policy to count students in St. Paul and not in their hometown makes sense.

“For the last four years I’ve lived in St. Paul, so it would be kind of dumb if they counted me in my hometown,” Lieser said.

And the information collected by the census bureaus is used by a lot of different organizations.

“Since it only happens every ten years, and it’s supposed to be a count of everyone in the U.S., it’s a pretty packed set of data that a lot of organizations use,” Hengemuhle said.

Which makes it important for every student to get counted.

Shane Delaney can be reached at smdelaney@stthomas.edu.

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