Kris Lovekin, Director of Media Relations for University of California, Riverside, sent CBS2/KCAL9 the following correspondence which the university sent to the authors of the article on the Business Insider website.
“To: Abby Rogers and Gus Lubin
Business Insider Magazine
RE: “The 25 most dangerous college campuses”
UC Riverside students, faculty and staff are encouraged to report suspicious behavior, to call on police for help and to get access to counseling related to assaults. We take crime seriously and we are clear and transparent about our reporting.
Your headline, and the way you have used the statistics to brand certain college campuses “the most dangerous” is in fact a step in the wrong direction for crime prevention. An intentionally inflammatory headline is now being widely disseminated.
First, comparing all reported crime will necessarily include those reports that are false or mistaken. A more relevant statistic is available in the Clery Act reports compiled and released each year. UC Riverside’s is available here:
In fact, the US Department of Education Office of Postsecondary Education has an online tool that allows viewers to see three years’ worth of data from all schools that reported to the department through the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act and the Higher Education Opportunity Act. At the very least, you might find it of benefit to point your readers to this site, which allows for sorting by size and type of institution and which includes thousands of campuses across the nation. http://ope.ed.gov/security/
Allow me to quote from a response to the article from Campus Security Magazine, and to argue that the same statistics you have looked at might mean something very different:
“When crime stats are higher, it often means the campus in question is realistically dealing with its crime problem and is dedicated to transparency. In essence, more reports of crime very often mean members of the campus community are better informed about threats to their safety.”
UC Riverside intends to continue encouraging the reporting of crime, because it is the only way to make sure we can address it.”