2020 Census Activities Ramp Up

Student writing her name on a puzzle piece as part of the Census puzzle pledge

Miami is partnering with the City of Oxford, local census officials, and several student groups on campus to promote an accurate count of Miami students for the 2020 United States Census. The census, which occurs every ten years, counts every person residing in the United States and impacts federal funding dollars and congressional representation.

“A complete count is important to the City of Oxford for several reasons,” said Doug Elliott, Oxford city manager. “First, it ensures fair representation at the federal and state levels. Secondly, the census directly impacts funding the city will receive over the next ten years. Finally, the census provides reliable and complete data for research, decision making, and planning for both the public and private sectors.”

The undertaking is huge and the stakes are high.

A Complete Count committee has been organizing, training, and planning for the past year. The committee, composed of City of Oxford and Miami staff, as well as students and community members, has developed a census communication plan, made recommendations on how to count on-campus students, and developed outreach strategies.

Census Tabling on February 25, 20120Census tabling in February 2020 In addition to the Complete Count committee, the Andrew Goodman Foundation Ambassadors, through the Wilks Leadership Institute, is dedicated to supporting census education this spring. The Ambassadors aim to help students understand and transition into their roles as responsible citizens. They recruit volunteers, called Redhawks Count Representatives, to be part of both the educational outreach and the local count initiatives. Departments, offices, classes, and organizations can request a 10-minute census education presentation provided by the volunteers. Participants will learn their role in filling out the census, what information it requests, and the impact census data has on our community.

In the fall, students in STC 359 were tasked with formulating a plan for the census to raise awareness and develop a campaign to complement the communication goals of the 2020 Census. Groups presented their plans to Instructor Shara Clark, who selected one group to represent Miami in the national Bateman Case Study Competition with Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) this spring.

The selected group is implementing their plan now. It includes a puzzle pledge that students can sign to take the census, flyers, posters, and a “Census Bagel” at the infamous Bagel and Deli uptown.

Census Count committee members are optimistic about the 2020 Census.

“We’ve been really impressed with the student engagement around the census so far,” said Dr. Gwen Fears, assistant vice president for student life and co-chair of the Complete Count committee. “There is a lot of energy around making sure that all Oxford residents and Miami students - both on and off campus - are counted. ”

Digital signage about the US CensusCensus-related digital signage in Armstrong “It is exciting to have the first-ever online option available,” said Sam Perry, director of community development for the City of Oxford. “The targeted marketing in multiple languages and platforms demonstrates the federal government’s commitment to our nation’s residents that this census is indeed: ‘easy, safe and important!’”

Miami students should be counted at their current address, not at their permanent address. Visit for information on how students should participate in the census.

Upcoming Events

  • RedHawks Count Training. March 2 and March 4 at 6 pm, Shideler 152. Redhawks Count Representatives (RCRs) will be trained on how to present the what, when, how, and why of the census to student organizations and departments on campus. Sign up for training.
  • Party at the Polls. March 17, 10:00am-4:00pm, Shriver Center patio. Andrew Goodman Foundation Ambassadors will host a booth outside the on-campus Shriver polling location. In addition to assistance with on-campus proof of address, ambassadors will provide information about voting rights and the census.
  • Walkabout to off-campus residences. March 30. 4:00pm-8:00pm, Central Location TBD. Miami students and community members will come together and provide census information to over 1,000 homes in our community to inform residents of their role in the 2020 Census.
  • Census Day. April 1, 10:00am-2:00pm, SEAL. The Andrew Goodman Foundation Ambassadors will host a census celebration at the seal in academic quad. Stop by for food and last minute census information.