Long ago, our Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution to require the population of the United States of America be counted every ten years. Census data is used to distribute Congressional seats, make decisions about what community services to provide and distribute $400 billion in federal funds to local, state and tribal governments each year.

Historically, the highly mobile college student population has been hard to count — in part, because many people believe that college students are counted on their parents’ questionnaires. People should be counted by where they live and sleep most of the year to ensure a complete and accurate count for their community in 2010. Each rental household can fill out just one Census form for everyone. You should have received your Census questionnaire already. If a household doesn’t receive a Census form (many residential units throughout I.V. may only receive one Census form to fill out even though the place of residence has multiple tenants/units), tenants can go to a local “Be Counted” site to pick one up (visit www.countyofsb.org/2010census for a list of these sites). The questions, which take about ten minutes to answer, will relate to name, sex, age, date of birth, race, ethnicity, relationship and housing tenure.

Anyone living in our county, regardless of legal status, should complete a Census form. By law, the Census Bureau cannot share an individual’s answers with anyone, including federal, state and local agencies. All Census information is confidential!

Let’s see Isla Vista benefit from an accurate Census count! Billions of dollars in federal funds are awarded annually to states and communities based on Census data. Furthermore, Census data affects your representation in Congress.

Count Me I.V. Census Event on April 9, 2010! The U.S. Census Road Tour will be in Isla Vista on Friday, April 9 from 3-6 p.m. on Pardall Road. The free and fun event will feature live music, free t-shirts and a massive group photo! The UCSB and SB County Census Committee hope to see you there!

Go Green or Go Home

Not only is April an important month for students to get counted in Isla Vista, it is also the month to celebrate our Planet Earth! With Earth Day on April 22, the Community Housing Office thought we would share some ways we’ve discovered for renters to go green.

Make your Move Greener by borrowing plastic containers for packing and transporting. If you do use boxes and bubble wrap, don’t buy new stuff! Collect them from grocery stores or check out Craigslist or www.wemovegreen.com for people getting rid of used moving supplies.

Clean Greener. Your local grocery stores have PLENTY of competitively-priced green options to choose from for cleaning supplies. You can also raid your kitchen for cleaning supplies — pick up our Green Housing Guide to see how to use toothpaste, vinegar, lemon juice and baking soda to make your rental spic and span.

Go green with your home’s energy use. Look for the Energy Star Label when shopping for electronics and prevent “vampire energy!” Unplug appliances when not in use or utilize power strips to prevent electricity leaks.

The above is just a sample of all the amazing and simple tips our Green Housing Guide has to offer. Pick one up in our office or find it online at www.housing.ucsb.edu. Check us out in the UCen on April 19 from 10-2 p.m. while we celebrate Earth Day!