The website FindTheBest.com recently published a list of what it called “The 25 Most Dangerous Campuses.” The list was developed by using crime statistics from the Office of Postsecondary Education.
The website ranked four-year universities (with at least 1,000 graduate and undergraduate students) with the highest rate of alleged criminal offenses (murder/non-negligent manslaughter, forcible and non-forcible sex offenses, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, motor vehicle theft, and arson) for the years 2011 to 2013. The number of crimes for every 1,000 students produced the ranking of the most dangerous campuses.
Some of the most prestigious colleges in America made the list including Swarthmore College and Pomona College. But of the 25 campus rated as the most dangerous, eight are historically Black colleges and universities. Benedict College in Columbia, South Carolina was ranked as the most dangerous with 60.5 incidents per 1,000 students. Other HBCUs on the list include Central State University in Ohio, Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, Kentucky State University, and Shaw University, Saint Augustine’s University, and Livingstone College, all in North Carolina.
When the rankings were first released, Alabama A&M University ranked second on the list. But when the university objected to the methodology, the website recalculated the rankings resulting in Alabama A&M not making the list at all. But with Alabama A&M dropping off the list, Oakwood University, a historically Black educational institution in Huntsville, Alabama, was moved up to the 25th position.
Oakwood University released a statement saying that the website “publishes sensationalized ratings for higher education institutions based upon unscientific analysis and inaccurate information. It bases its ‘Most Dangerous Campus’ ratings on an aggregate number of campus incidents without accounting for the seriousness of the incidents.”
Leslie N. Pollard, president of Oakwood University, stated that “Oakwood University continues to be a safe and welcoming campus for its students, faculty, staff, visitors, and for the Huntsville community who frequent the campus and find it to be a safe haven for activities such as early morning and late evening walks, dining in our food service facilities, scholarly research in our library, and recreational pursuits on our playing fields, and other sports facilities.”