Race question is asked for a reason

We’ve all done this before. We sit down to fill out a survey or application. We fill out the usual questions about our gender, age and year. Then we get to that section on a survey where we’re asked to circle our race. Do you circle your race? Do you circle “other” because you don’t want your race revealed? Do you not answer at all?

You should answer that question to the best of your ability. There’s a reason why it’s there. If for nothing else, having accurate data on a person’s race is important for statistics.

Who cares about statistics, you might ask. Recently, students voted for the Undergraduate Student Government officers. Those who voted were given a survey to fill out with a question about their race, among other things on it.

In determining whether USG is addressing minority issues, it is important to know whether minorities are voting or not. According to the survey, the percent of minorities who filled out surveys was similar to their percent of population at the University. But not all people filled out the race question, so it is hard to say how accurate the statistics are.

You should always fill out all questions on a survey or application. Some people may worry that their race may be used against them. There are people in this world who are closed-minded and prejudice, so we can’t say that it will never happen. But the USG survey was anonymous and some still left the question blank. Especially in these types of situations, there is no reason to not fill out this question.

If your race is not listed on the survey, then fill out “other” and specify what your race is. If you simply circle “other” and never elaborate, your answer is not worth much.

The USG survey gave students the option to circle more than one race, since many students are multi-racial. Those who conduct surveys are becoming aware that many people belong to more than one race or nationality and are not limiting people to only circling one race.

It’s not the end of the world if you don’t fill out your race on these forms. But the question is there and important information can be obtained if people filled it out.

Statistics let us know how many people from each race are attending college, are in the work force or are voting. We can get to the root of many problems when we know the Statistics, but it’s not good if they’re not accurate. This may have been something you never thought about before. Hopefully now you’re aware as to why your race is asked.