Representatives from the Census Bureau encouraged students to fill out the 10 question census form by sitting in the lobbies of the residence halls on Monday.
The project, called the “Group Quarters Enumeration” is common in universities across the nation.
According to Patricia Valle, assistant regional census manager for the Queens Group Quarters Enumeration, the project is an attempt to get the census to students at universities.
“All university and college campuses around the U.S participate in this project to ensure that every community with different living situations is accounted for,” she said.
“This includes jails, nursing homes, and colleges and universities who have a community of people living on or in these institutions.”
The project was created to ensure that residents are completing the forms accurately and submitting them on time. Four or more representatives will be located in the lobby of each residence hall through the end of the week, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.According to one representative from O’Connor Hall, 38 forms had been collected in three hours.
“I filled one out, although the representatives were a little pushy, but I knew it was for a good cause,” freshman Zuri Foreman said.
When asked if students have been cooperative during this process, four representatives in Hollis Hall agreed that most students have been gracious with their time.
The information collected is used to determine the appointed seats in the U.S.
House of Representatives and to disperse more than $400 billion in federal funds to improve the conditions of hospitals, schools, senior centers, and public transportation.
By law, it is mandatory to fill a census form out.
If a form is not filled out and returned, a census taker is assigned to come to the person’s place of residence to record and submit the questions.
According to the Census Bureau official Web site, www.census.gov, an individual can expect fines of up to $100 if all questions are not completed, a $500 fine results from providing faulty information, and a $1,000 fine or one year in prison if proven you have “intent to cause inaccurate enumeration of population.”
St. John’s students had mixed feelings about filling out the census questionaire. David Pineiro, a freshman said that the representatives were “friendly but overzealous in their approach.”
Freshman Seth Johnson said he knew that the survey was important.
“I volunteered to fill the survey out because I felt it was my responsibility,” he said.