With the 2020 U.S. Census fast approaching, the Associated Students, Inc. (ASI) Board of Directors listened to a special presentation delivered by ASI Officer of Legislative Affairs Richard Barcelo on Feb. 27, informing the board members about the importance of the decennial population count and its possible effects on the university.
As mandated by the U.S. Constitution, the census counts the number of people living in the U.S. every decade. The data gathered from the count affects the federal funds that states and other institutions receive as well as the amount of representation that states have in Congress.
The census presentation focused on the impacts that a population undercount in California could have.
“Specifically to us as college students, it essentially can underestimate the (number) of students there are, therefore the amount of funding needed will appear to be less or it will appear like there’s not as much of a need,” said Barcelo, a fourth-year political science student.
Currently, the ASI website has a countdown to Census Day, which is on April 1, as well as more information on the mandatory count and promises upcoming details on how the university intends to assist in counting its student population.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s website, households can expect to receive information about how to complete the form. For the first time in American history, the census can now be completed by phone and online as well as through mail as it has been conducted in decades past.
Toward the tail-end of his presentation, Barcelo promoted the vote center currently in operation at the Bronco Student Center (BSC) in Ursa Minor. The center, open until March 3, allows students to vote in the California primary election. Students can register to vote on-site, and mail-in ballots can also be dropped off in front of room 2359 in the BSC.
Following the presentation, ASI Vice President Rachel Hunter, a fourth-year political science student, advised the senators in the board meeting to inform their councils on the census and its importance.
Hunter also mentioned the possibility of California losing a seat or more in the U.S. House of Representatives, weakening the federal legislative power of the state.
Later, the board listened to a mid-year budget request by Psi Chi, a student organization and psychology honors society which did not present its request to the board in the previous meeting along with the other student organizations who requested funds. Psi Chi’s budget request is scheduled to be voted on for approval at the following Board of Directors meeting.
The next ASI Board of Directors meeting is scheduled for Thursday.
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