Campus Crime

Posted by Brad J. Ward | Posted in Campus Safety, Higher Education, Research | Posted on 02-15-2008

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In our Admission lobby we have a big 40-50 something inch LCD TV that plays CNN all day.  When I go out to the water cooler to refill I usually stop for a moment to see what’s going on in the elections, overseas, etc.Today I went to get my mid-morning water refill, and it’s a little quieter in the lobby today.   The TV, typically the main focal point of the lobby, is behind closed cabinet doors today.   Filling its void, a John Mayer CD softly playing on the speakers.

I guess someone must have decided that news about NIU isn’t really what we want students to sit and watch while they wait for their tour today?

On the same note, and as I alluded to in my last post, Butler U. has been rated as a “highest of high crime” campus by the Chronicle of Higher Education, with a publication from the Reader’s Digest to follow in their next issue.

Why has Butler been ranked at the top?  Why were only 285 schools looked at?  Why did University of Wisconsin (40,000 students) report no crimes in 2 years?

Here’s what we do know.

  • Reader’s Digest examined reports from only 285 out the country’s nearly 6,000 colleges and universities.
  • They ranked the 285 institutions using stats from 2004 and 2005 from lower to higher reported crime, weighing severe offenses like murder and rape more heavily. Butler University suffered a great loss on campus when Officer James L. Davis was shot and killed in the line of duty in Sept. 2004 by someone who happened to come on campus.
  • It is the duty of the Butler University Police Department to report every incidence on campus. According to crime statistics for some state universities on the list, they have no crime on campus.
  • Butler University’s police patrol supervisors and police officers are appointed by the State of Indiana with full police powers, sharing jurisdiction with the Marion County Sheriff’s Department. Many universities have campus safety offices with limited police powers thus they report crime incidents differently.

It’s unfortunate that NIU’s tragedy happened, and more unfortunate that this information will be published less than a week after it.  Regardless, I know everyone on campus stands by the fact that we are extremely safe except for 1 incident in the entire history of the University, which happened to fall in the year that the data was compiled.  Next year, we’ll fall back to the safe list and life will go on. But not for those whose lives were senselessly taken yesterday in DeKalb. And not for Officer Davis.

Comments posted (1)

I’ve been learning a lot about how surveys and polls are done and it just doesn’t seem right to me. This is a perfect example. How many schools are there in the US? How many have updated their policies since 2004-2005? I think it’s pretty ridiculous. Hopefully people understand that things like this happen, and hopefully they get the facts right in the article.

And BTW, I thought you were going to say someone stole the TV out of the lobby…

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