Flaws Debated in Campus Crime Rankings

September 24, 2009

Is Emerson College the most crime-ridden college in the United States? The Daily Beast appears to think so, but not everyone agrees. The Daily Beast, Tina Brown's new Web site, ranked all colleges based on per capita crimes in federal reports, as well as other factors, and Emerson led the list. But as The Boston Globe noted, the federal reports are required to include adjacent neighborhoods -- and in Emerson's case, that means most of the crime that earned the college its ranking had nothing to do with Emerson. The college reported 160 incidents of assaults and robberies in its federal report, but only 6 involved its own students. One Boston news blogger characterized the Web site's formula as: "pi (3.14) x n + crime down the road x things colleges can't control = hysteria."

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