Census workers and UW Oshkosh students raise awareness

Lydia Westedt, Reporter

On Feb. 27, four UW Oshkosh public relations students were joined by census workers on the UWO campus to inform students about the 2020 census and encourage students to pledge to take the census.

The UW Oshkosh Bateman Team’s campaign, “20/20 Oshkosh: Count Osh In,” has been circulating around classrooms and campus to ensure that Oshkosh knows taking the census is vital for community and college federal funding.

According to Oshkosh Student Association Vice President Ian McDonald, counting oneself in the census is important now because of the decline in student attendance.

Courtesy of the Bateman team
The Bateman team and census workers tabled in Reeve last week.

“Federal funding is very vital to subsidizing the lack of fees that are paid when more students are at the university,” McDonald said.

According to a U.S. Census Bureau employee, census data helps your community prepare for emergencies, create jobs and build infrastructure. The data determines how much funding a community receives and how the community plans for the future.

Census data also helps paint an accurate statistical picture of the nation and communities, according to the U.S. Census Bureau employee. That statistical picture is used to drive important decisions, including community funding for schools, roads and hospitals.

Responses to the census impacts political representation. Since 1790, our nation has been counting its population and uses the data to determine where to redraw electoral districts based on where populations had increased or decreased, according to 2020census.gov.

According to McDonald, the census is important for political decisions.

“In order to have an accurate representation on who the people are, you kind of have to make sure you know how many people are in a certain state or a certain place,” McDonald said.

Census answers can only be used to produce statistics, according to the census employee. This means answers are confidential.

According to the census worker, Title 13 makes it clear that the data collected by the census can only be used to produce statistics and cannot be used for immigration enforcement or law enforcement purposes.

For more information on the 2020 Census, visit 2020census.gov.