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Census nearing, UI stresses student awareness

BY KELLIE PETERSEN | FEBRUARY 09, 2010 7:30 AM

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Super Bowl viewers likely saw the ads for the 2010 census sandwiched among commercials for Budweiser and Hyundai.

The promotions for the census are also springing up in several places, including on the UI campus, where officals are working to get the message to students.

UI students should take the census in Iowa City because they’re here for the majority of the year, officials said.

University Housing officials said they plan to begin a campaign in the dorms, putting posters on all 149 residence-hall bulletin boards beginning Feb. 17, said Carrie Kiser-Wacker, the assistant to the director of University Housing.

After census forms become available when students return from spring break, the official promotional campaign will begin. Housing officials will roll out more posters, informational table-tents, and free promotional items.

The census will also be promoted on University Housing’s Live On website and through e-mails to students living in the residence halls.

Officials said the census — and how accurately citizens complete and return their forms — has important consequences.

Each year, the federal government allocates more than $400 billion for communities throughout the country. For each person counted in the census, a community receives $1,200, according to the city of Iowa City.

And that affects the UI, too.

“Essentially, we are a part of the Iowa City area, so anything that benefits Iowa City would benefit the University of Iowa and its students,” UI spokesman Tom Moore said.

Though the funds allocated using census data go to a variety of sources, the results help guide the distribution of college tuition grant and loan programs, Moore said.

UI officials have requested the Census Bureau send forms to students living in “group quarters” on campus, such as fraternities, sororities, and residence halls, between March 22 and April 15, though it could be as late as May 15, Kiser-Wacker said.

Students who live in “private residences” off-campus should receive their census forms sometime in February or March.

The UI is still finding ways to promote the completion of census forms to those not living in dorms.
Moore said various groups throughout the community, including landlords, are collaborating to inform students about the importance of completing census forms.

Kiser-Wacker said officials are also planning to place posters and table-tents in the IMU and posters on Cambus to target students living off-campus.

Providing accurate information is the reason sophomore Jordan Fuller, a Hillcrest resident, said he planned to complete his census form when he received it.

Fuller said he felt the promotional campaigns in the dorms may “spark interest” in fellow students to complete their census forms as well.

Kiser-Wacker echoed his statement.

“Hopefully, people will consider it their civic duty to fill out the forms,” she said.


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