2010 Census Week garnering attention

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(Left to Right) Blanca Nunez, Jason Camarillo, Molly Smith and Lady McDesmond attempt to garner census awareness and participation on Titan Walk. Photo by Chauntel Riser/For the Daily Titan

Five Cal State Fullerton Students, a part of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), are hosting Census Week, which began with their premier event “Rock The Census” on Monday. The PRSSA students scheduled Census Week as their final week of promotions. For Tuesday’s “Census Walk,” students gathered on Titan Walk to ask questions, gather information pamphlets and sign a poster pledging that they would participate in the 2010 census.

The five students that the group is named for (Molly Smith, Blanca Nunez, Jason Camarillio, Lady McDesmond and Jonathon Barba) are a part of the National Bateman competition that, if they are selected, will pay for the students and their adviser to be flown to Washington D.C. to present their campaign to 2010’s Census Bureau.

The CSUF student campaign is to spread awareness about the 2010 census to both CSUF students and Orange Country residents in surrounding areas.

“$4 billion in federal funding is distributed based on the census, which is $3,000 per person in community service. The CSUF area has low return rate of 40 percent, which means that only 40 percent of the households in our area return their census forms and more than half, 60 percent, do not fill out their census,” said public relations student Molly Smith.

The students have been promoting awareness about Census Week throughout the month via personal conversations with students and Orange County residents.

“Jonathan and I went out to a small clinic in La Habra called Friends of the Family, where low-income families come for their children. Many of the families that come to the clinic are Hispanic and fear filling out the census. What a lot of them didn’t know is that the census does not deal with immigration. Census Bureau employees sign an oath stating that they will not resale the personal information to any government agency, and if the oath is broken, they will be charged fines of up to $250,000 or sent to jail,” said public relations major Blanca Nunez.

The PRSSA students also distributed the information through social mediums such as Facebook and Twitter.

“We have used social media outlets because that is the big way of gathering information for college students. We have been asking students for their name and e-mail so that we can contact them through Twitter and Facebook to let them know what is going on,” said Jason Camarillio, public relations student.

CSUF students were able to both fill out a pledge form and sign a census poster to pledge their participation in the 2010 census.

“The pledge forms and signs are an evaluation of how successful our campaign was to students at CSUF. Research shows that if you publicly commit to something then you are more likely to follow through,” said public relations student Lady McDesmond.

Many students at CSUF stated that they were familiar with the census, but were interested in getting more information.

“I knew that there was something that goes around every 10 years, but I wasn’t sure of the name of it. This census 2010 campaign has been effective. It provided me with the information that I needed to know about the census, and I will be sure to fill it out,” said business marketing student Scott Wharton.

CSUF PRSSA’s Census Week will close with the “Census Panel Discussion” Thursday at the TSU’s Becker Amphitheatre. For more information on the census, visit 2010census.gov.

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