Census hits campus, fails to net HP residents
Residence Life reported that only half of the Hewlett-Packard apartment residents filled out their census forms April 12.
Residence Life reserved Withnell Commons and manned tables covered in census papers from 6-9 p.m. April 12.
Jeff Mackay, associate dean of students and director of Residence Life, said the residence halls had nearly 100 percent of their residents fill out the forms.
“We had great participation in the residence halls,” he said. “Most had just one or two people who were not there.”
Mackay said that his office staff called all residents who had not yet filled out a census form. On April 15, Mackay told the Review that between 30 and 40 students, mostly HP residents, failed to fill out the forms. Linfield sent in these students’ directory information to the census office.
If a student does not fill out the census form, the college may send directory data to the federal government without consent of a student or his or her parent or guardian, Mackay said.
A press release from Robert Groves, director of the U.S. Department of Commerce, confirms Mackay’s statement.
Mackay said the census is used to distribute social services money.
He said that Linfield would not receive benefits directly, but Linfield’s participation would benefit Yamhill County.
According to a press release from Groves, students count as residents of their colleges, not their hometowns.
Mackay said he did not need to do much advertising about the census because of the federal government’s efforts to create census awareness.
Federal law requires that everyone in the United States fills out a census form. Failure to do so can result in fines up to $100.
Submitted answers on the are confidential.
The U.S. Constitution requires the federal government to conduct a census every 10 years. The data is used to apportion the House of Representatives.
States have a number of representatives based on population. California, the most populous state, has 53 members in the House of Representatives.
Several states, including Montana, Alaska and Wyoming, have only one representative. Washington, D.C., has three representatives to make up for its lack of representation in the Senate.
Oregon has five representatives. One of them, Rep. David Wu, visited Linfield on April 6 to discuss public policy with students.
News editor Joshua Ensler can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org