U.S. Census needs student help, input

Kathleen Quinn, Staff Reporter

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Shay Dognia, media specialist for the Census Bureau, wants to make sure students are aware of the opportunities the census can provide as well as the importance of being counted in the upcoming census. The constitutionally mandated census aims to count every individual within the United States every 10 years, and will take place in spring 2020.

The census includes information on demographics such as race, age and income. For students, filling out the census helps to get an accurate representation about demographics on campus.

According to the End of Term Credit Headcount for the spring quarter 2019, about 80% of students self-identify as some race or ethnicity other than white, with 43% of students at De Anza identifying as Asian and 25% identifying as Latinx. 

The results of the census provide valuable data used to make budgetary decisions not just at the national level, but also on the state and local level.

The census reaches residents throughout the country on April 1, 2020, asking everything from ethnicity and age to the number of occupants within a dwelling.

The Trump Administration previously requested an additional citizenship question be added to the 2020 Census which stirred concerns about an undercount.  This question was blocked by the Supreme Court after states like New York and California sued to prevent its addition.

Joana Mendoza, 18, biological science was concerned about why the possibility of the question being added.

“Why would you do that in the first place?” she said.

Jason Mendoza, 18, networking and computer science, feels it could cause an undercount of certain demographics. 

“No one wants to out themselves,” he said.

Title XIII prevents the census from disclosing personally-identifying information to any government agency regardless of the question.

“Nothing has changed in the information we collect,” said Dognia. 

An undercount for the census would mean less money for schools and less political representation in the area.

The census is hiring right now for full and part-time positions starting at $32 an hour in the field, at the office or their work-from-home partner specialist position.

Many of the changes that are coming to the 2020 census include new ways to answer it, such as online and over the phone, rather than on paper.

In the Bureau’s attempt to ensure that everyone counts this coming April, Dognia said that homeless individuals can complete the census as well by being counted in what the census refers to as “group quarters” such as a homeless shelter. 

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