Off-campus senator leads Constitution Day conversation on 2020 Census

Vandy Manyeh
Staff Writer

Data during the 2020 census will be collected online for the first time in U.S. history. 

Andrew Weinzierl, the student government’s off-campus senator, led a constitutional conversation on the new U.S. Bureau of Census data collection method, and how important it is to participate in the 2020 U.S. Census – or, the official count of people living in the United States. 

Weinzierl spoke at a roundtable event during the closure of the college’s Constitution Day celebrations Tuesday.

“This is a new mechanics to make it easy to get everyone counted,” Weinzierl said. 

The U.S. Census Bureau will continue to invite people living in the United States to participate in the census via mailed invitations. Census enumerators will also knock on doors to get everyone counted.

Weinzierl then outlined the reasons why students at Minnesota State University, Mankato need to participate in the 2020 Census.

“Billions of dollars is allocated to Minnesota every year for a variety of different things,” Weinzierl said. “We are going to determine how much our institution gets from the federal government for FAFSA if you qualify for financial aid; Pell grants, which is food-based; as well as Medicaid.” 

Weinzierl also spoke about the benefits of a complete count. 

The state of Minnesota brought in over $30,000 from the federal government after the 2010 Census, according to Weinzierl. Dollars from the federal government help fund infrastructure projects and other basic social initiatives. 

For Minnesotans, one issue is on the line: representation. There are eight congressional districts within the state of Minnesota. The state is at the brink of losing a congressional seat, which will lead to underrepresentation in the U.S. Congress. 

Redistricting will have to occur after the census. State demographer Susan Brower believes the state is “hovering” over the mark of losing a seat, according to a December 2018 article published by the Star Tribune.

International students, foreign exchange students and students who are from cities outside Mankato will be able to get counted in Mankato when the census’ questionnaires are mailed out in April 2020.

Before the start of the census, the student government will start tabling event to promote the importance of the 2020 census.

Header photo by Samuel Oluwadoromi | MSU Reporter.

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