The U.S. Census Bureau has teamed up with the GW Housing Programs and GW’s department of Government, Community and International Relations to streamline the process of counting students, the University’s top government relations official said last week.
All students in GW residence halls will be given census forms to fill out from their house staff on April 1, Director of Government Relations Kent Springfield said.
“We’d love to have students fill them out and hand them back that day,” he said.
Students living off-campus will receive their census sheets by mail soon, if they haven’t already, Springfield said. These students still should participate, and can return the form in the attached envelope.
If students choose not to fill out the surveys, they can expect a visit from census employees, Springfield said.
“The Census Bureau will be sending out enumerators to do a door-to-door count for those that don’t return their forms. We expect them to be in our residence halls a couple of times in April,” he said.
Springfield said students’ parents should not list them as residents in their home state because students live in D.C. for most of the time, use services here and should be counted in the District. This means international students, regardless of their citizenship status, also count toward the D.C. population in the census. “Your parents shouldn’t count you at home, unless you make it back to their house at the end of each day,” he said.
Census Media Specialist Sylvia Ballinger said that government funds given to the D.C. community are all based on its population.
“Students living nine out of 12 months in D.C. should care about all the resources coming into our community,” she said. “Students’ parents should not be claiming you at home because the money will go to that community instead of here.”
Ballinger also says there is a “dire need in the Northwest area” for students willing to work for the census.
For $20 an hour, students can be hired by the U.S. Census to help count the population. Ballinger said they are actively recruiting and testing on or near GW’s campus and that anyone can call 1-866-861-2010 to apply for a position.