UTEP Urges Community to Make Census 2020 Count
Last Updated on February 12, 2020 at 12:00 AM
Originally published February 12, 2020
By Christina Rodriguez
Students at The University of Texas at El Paso will have a key role in the Miner Counts initiative, which is touting the importance of the 2020 U.S. Census and its impact on the economy and well-being of the community.
UTEP’s Center for Community Engagement (CCE), in partnership with the Student Government Association (SGA) and the College of Liberal Arts, has developed a series of workshops, information sessions and other awareness events to promote the census and its importance.
Every 10 years, the U.S. government conducts a census to count every individual living in the country. Accurate census data is crucial to matters of representation, funding and equality.
Federal funds, grants and support to states, counties and communities are based on population totals and breakdowns by sex, age, race and other factors. Census numbers determine the amount of funding provided to communities for programs such as health care, infrastructure, housing, and education as well as equal representation for all populations.
“Correctly counting our community can bring more benefits to students at the university level,” said Jenna Lujan, assistant director of CCE. “Our population heavily depends on federal aid, which is determined by the census count. The more accurately we count our population, the more resources we will have available to community members including UTEP students."
Members of UTEP’s SGA will help fund activities and events as well as volunteer to spread awareness on and off campus. Additionally, a UTEP committee of students, faculty and census representatives will appoint census ambassadors from service learning classes who will be trained on census information and materials to assist with outreach and awareness efforts.
Lujan said one of the key messages that students, faculty and staff are hoping to convey is that participating in the census is completely safe and confidential, regardless of citizenship status, which has long been a concern in the Paso del Norte region.
“I am proud to be part of this initiative and am glad to be learning in the process,” freshman political science major and SGA member Isaiah Iturralde said. “Participation is everything and the biggest take away is that voices of U.S. citizens are accounted for, including mine.”
SGA and CCE events kick off with an event at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020, in Room 202 of the Undergraduate Learning Center and will run throughout the spring semester. Some of the scheduled events include Creatives for the Count, Census Summit, Census Day Kickoff celebration and various tabling events and workshops, all geared to provide fun ways for students to engage with census information and how they can help promote Census 2020. For more information on Census 2020 and UTEP census events, visit the UTEP Center for Community Engagement website.