UVM students struggle to make sense of the Census

Despite the efforts to get students to fill out the 2010 Census, many students say they are still confused about what the form is and are not sure they are going to fill it out.”I saw a poster in my dorm for filling out the census and I see the table outside the library every day, but I don’t actually know what it is or have any motivation to fill out the information,” sophomore Liesel Huysentruyt said.The census is a tally of the people in the United States that is used to determine the number of representatives each state should get in the House of Representatives, according to the U.S. Census Bureau website.The Census is also taken to determine where money should be allocated, and where stores and district boundaries should be placed, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Federal law requires citizens to fill out the form every ten years, states the U.S. Census Bureau website.  The site states that under federal law those who do not fill out the census could be subject to up to $100 in fines.Some students, however, say they are finding obstacles in the process and don’t understand why they need to participate.”I filled out the form eventually, but it took me forever to get around to it,” senior Lisa Rosenberg said.  “I don’t really know what the point of it is.”Another student said that she thought it should be offered online. “I would be much more likely to fill out the form if it were online,” sophomore Miranda Berchten said.  “I don’t send anything through the actual mail nowadays.”     Students who live on campus are supposed to fill out the form from April 1 to May 21, according to the UVM website.  During this time, the form will be dropped off at their dorm.”If you live on the college campus you should be filling it out there,” a representative from the U.S. Census Bureau said.  “It is counted differently there because it is under group quarters.”If people don’t send back their forms by early April, Census Bureau representatives are going to visit households to collect the forms unless they live in group quarters such as dorms, the Census Bureau website states.Also, if people don’t tell the truth on the form they will be fined $500, according to the Census Bureau website.Still, not everyone is convinced, and some say they’re not going to fill out the form.”I don’t think I’m going to,” Huysentruyt said.