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UC Riverside was recently ranked the 24th most dangerous college in America, according to website Business Insider’s list of the “25 Most Dangerous Colleges in America,” on Nov. 20. The list, which uses the FBI’s 2008-2011 Uniform Crime Report, has since come under fire from UCR and number one ranked UCLA for inaccurately portraying the data.

Following backlash from the titled UC campuses, the list unearthed discussion about campus safety and whether or not it can be accurately measured through statistical reporting.

The website offered a secondary list, based on data retrieved from the U.S. Department of Education by the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act or Clery Act, just one week later to further support the legitimacy of their first list.

“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,” stated UCR Director of Media Relations Kris Lovekin, in response to the list.

According to the online publication, three years of FBI crime data were averaged and divided by the student population, in order to rank all US schools. With number one designated as the “most dangerous,” UCLA and UCR officials asserted that the list was “erroneous” or “mistaken.”

Complaints arose over the fact that American public schools were taken into account, but not private schools. Public schools with under 10,000 enrolled students were also not included. Based on the Council for American Private Education, 33,366 private schools were reported in 2009-2010, which consists of 25 percent of all schools in the United States.

Colleges and universities were chosen based on FBI crime data submitted by campus police departments, yet few private schools have their own law enforcement. UC officials contend that the data does not holistically represent all US schools, due to the inclusion of off-campus crimes that is often recorded in the FBI statistics.

“To conclude that UCLA somehow is dangerous is a reckless mis-characterization of data,” stated UCLA Director of Media Relations Phil Hampton. He noted that UCLA Police Department included crime reports from the western Los Angeles region, that was beyond the boundaries of campus, as well as university health clinics owned by UCLA

In reaction to the complaints by UC officials, a second list was released by the Business Insider website through the federal Clery Act, which mandates the disclosure of on-campus crime. This is monitored by the United States Department of Education and is publicly available. Through the Clery list, Howard University was placed first, while UCLA fell to rank 20 and UCR following after—a distinction that both UC officials and the authors of Business Insider have been quick to point out.

“The labeling of these schools serve only as a problem, where it is just another thing parents and students have to think about in deciding their college of choice. The way in which the surveys are conducted only leaves one with the conclusion that these schools are truly the top 25 most dangerous,” stated fourth-year student Sam Odufalu, who expressed frustration about the listing.

“The limitationsthat have more than 10,000 students [should be considered] leaves out a drastic number of other schools in the country,” he said.

Another critique by UC officials and students alike was certain schools appeared highly-ranked on the second list did not show up on the first list. There are 16 new schools that only appear on the second list. The authors argue that both lists still included UCLA and UCR in its list of dangerous campuses, despite the severe drop i ranking for UCLA.

“We believe both are valid,” Business Insider said about the FBI and Clery Act lists. “We are glad to provide a second opinion, but we also reaffirm our confidence in the original list of America’s most dangerous colleges.”

In 2011, the UC Riverside Police reported one forcible rape, four robberies and two assaults. An average of 11 violent crime incidents and 360 property crime incidents took place in Riverside between 2008-2011. A total of five California colleges and universities were included in the list.

“We don’t think overly sensational headlines are helpful to students and parents who are applying to colleges right now. And we remain committed to the safety of our students, and the prevention of crime,” stated Lovekin.