WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind (WLFI) — The 2020 Census is going digital and citizens all over the nation will have the option of filling out the survey online.
West Lafayette leaders are finding this electronic-approach especially beneficial. This is because Purdue University students will be included in the city's head-count for the first time. Now leaders are working to capture those students on the go.
West Lafayette Census Liaison, Bryce Patz said Purdue University's participation in this year's census is crucial.
“Our population when classes are in session almost doubles, almost triples just with the size of students that come into classes,” said Patz.
More people accounted for means more funding for the city. The goal now is getting students on board.
“I haven't heard anyone talking about it on campus, that I've at least talked to so that's pretty much all I know about it, just pretty much nothing,” said Sam Wishon, Purdue off-campus student.
Wishon joins a majority of students the city is working to inform. On-campus students are already counted through the university, it's the off-campus students the city has to work a little harder to reach.
“In West Lafayette, we created a Complete Count Committee and that committee is made up of community relations personnel for the city as well as Purdue University,” said Patz.
This committee has been working since November to reach students. They're working through avenues like word of mouth, social-media ads and public events.
“It's mostly just been like ads on Youtube because I don't have add-block on and it just joins the census, be a census taker,” said Claire Micutani, Purdue on-campus student.
“I received like a flyer in the mail and I kind of brushed it off as spam mail,” said Joshua Brard, Purdue on-campus student. “I wasn't sure how serious it was but now I'm more aware of it.”
Patz said the committee will be working to spread census awareness to students up until the cut-off date in July. He said the most important message is that students understand the census counts where your head is lying on Apr. 1.
“The 2020 Census is all about where your head is at when you're going down to sleep on April first, and for students that are here that live in our community, you're here for nine months out of the year and you are a part of my community and we would love to have you counted,” said Patz.