Despite the current conditions due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, all members of the Rutgers community are reminded to participate in the 2020 Census, according to a University-wide email from Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Salvador B. Mena.
The purpose of the Census is to count all residents in their local communities, according to the email. This count allows the federal government to determine the number of representatives allocated to New Jersey and the amount of federal funding distributed to each state community.
During Saturday’s press conference, Gov. Phil Murphy (D-N.J.) said New Jersey’s population was undercounted in 2010.
“The Census is not just a number. It’s how we as a state qualify for literally tens of billions of dollars in federal funds, and right now we need every penny more than ever before,” he said. “Being counted in the Census is something you could do while at the same time practicing that critical social distancing.”
Residents are counted in the Census based on where they live approximately two-thirds of the year, according to the email. Rutgers students must be counted appropriately to represent the regional and local population of the University.
All undergraduate and graduate students who live in Rutgers on-campus housing will be counted directly by the University, according to the email. Data will transfered to the U.S. Census Bureau through University records, and students will be counted based on what their residence would have been under normal University operating status. Students in on-campus housing should not be counted by their parents or guardians.
Students who live in off-campus housing should complete a Census form for their apartment or housing unit, according to the email. Students who commute from home should be counted by their parents or guardians.
Residents can fill out the U.S. Census form through mail, by phone or online, according to the email. Students are encouraged to visit the Student Affairs 2020 Census website for more information.