Central Counts in 2010 Census

"We can't move forward until you mail it back" is this year's slogan for the 2010 Census. Brendan McGaughey explains why filling out less than ten questions can make a difference in Mount Pleasant's community.

You’ve probably heard and seen a lot of census events and advertising around campus, which makes you wonder what the big deal is.  Questions surrounding the purpose and importance of the census are on the minds of many students, so some clarification is in order.

Why is the census important?

Filling out your census form can make a direct impact on Mount Pleasant’s community.  Photo credit by quinn.anya

A complete and accurate count of residents in Mount Pleasant is crucial because the number of registered residents in an area determines the amount of funding the city will receive from the government.

Mount Pleasant broke the 25,000 population level for the first time in the 2000 census, which gave the city an estimated $700,000 increase in state shared revenue and an extra $1 million in Act 51 funding. That funding was then used for road maintenance and snow plowing for the decade.

Students need to file their census forms in Mount Pleasant because this city is where they live most of the time throughout a year-long period.

Do I have to fill out the census?

Yes.  Your parents are specifically told to not count kids who are away at college, so you will not be counted at “home.” The census is not like your taxes because your parents will not do this for you.

Who puts out the census?

The U.S. Government, specifically the Census Bureau, is responsible for the distribution of the census, but many local and on-campus organizations have been helping including the Mount Pleasant Complete Counting Committee, PRSSA, Delta Zeta, Lambda Chi Alpha, 91.5 Modern Rock and many more.

What can you do now?

If you still haven’t filled out a census for your place of residence, it’s not too late.  Go pick up an extra form, fill it out and drop it in a mailbox on campus, (free postage, of course). They can still be mailed in until mid-April so time is of the essence. Live in the dorms?  CMU’s Residence Halls also received the forms this past week and can be turned into your resident assistant or residence hall director.

Where can you get an extra census form?

You can get an extra census form at any Question Assistance Center (QAC) site throughout Mount Pleasant.

QAC sites will be set up until the end of April in the Bovee Center at CMU on Tuesdays, Wednesday and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Veteran’s Memorial Library Monday through Thursday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. They are also available Saturdays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and at City Hall’s lobby from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Replacement forms can also be found at Kroger, located at 4080 E. Blue Grass Rd. Individuals can also call the Telephone Questionnaire Assistance Center at 1-866-872-6868.

For any other questions, check out the Facebook Group or  www.2010census.gov.