Penn Counts rally to encourage student Census participation

Penn Census day

Today is Census Day, the date when the U.S. Census Bureau would like Americans to complete a Census form counting everyone living at their address.

This year’s Census form is the shortest in history, consisting of only 10 questions that can be completed in as little as 10 minutes.

The Bureau began mailing forms to households throughout the country in March, but gathering data from college students can be a daunting task. Students living at college are not included in the head count at the houses of their parents or guardians. In today’s electronic society, students check email far more often than they check “snail mail.”

To drum up awareness about the Census and encourage student participation, the University is holding a Penn Counts rally on April 7. The gathering is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. in the Lower Quad, 310 S. 36th St.

Between bites of free pizza, students will get the opportunity to chat with Census reps. Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and other area elected officials are expected to attend. Nutter, a Penn grad, plans to stop by his former dorm, Riepe College House, to talk to the current occupants of his old room about the importance of completing and returning their Census forms.

The Bureau is also coordinating with Penn to distribute Census forms in dorms, residence halls and fraternity and sorority houses throughout the week.

Most U.S. residents must mail their completed Census forms back to the Bureau, but Penn students can simply put their forms in Census drop boxes conveniently located in campus dwellings now through May 14.

Originally published on April 1, 2010