Western Illinois University has been ranked as the 20th most dangerous college in the country by an online journal.
The Business Insider averaged FBI crime data per capita over the past three years.
At WIU, there was an average of 10 violent crimes and 161 property crime incidents per year.
But it is noted in the article that schools that report crime in neighboring non-campus areas have elevated numbers.
Jessie Reed says after she finishes up her sophomore year at WIU, she plans to transfer. She says it's for a lot of different reasons, but safety was a concern.
"It was getting a little bit too crazy"
In a recent "Business Insider" listing, Western Illinois University was listed as the twentieth most dangerous college in America. Director of University Relations Darcie Shinberger says the university isn't pleased to be on the list, but it's another time to improve.
"It really gives us an opportunity to look at this is what the community is telling us. To take that feedback that they see on these lists and say this is what we think you need to do."
Shinberger says campus police are very diligent about patrolling the area to look for potential dangers.
"They're on foot, they're on bicycle patrol, they're on motorized patrol, they're in the residence halls," she said.
And there's the 40 eight blue emergency lights around campus, as well as other safety features. Measures that aren't lost on some students. But they say they still take care of themselves and each other.
"We always walk together, we make sure that we get back to the dorm safe and sound and text each other," said Reed.
"Don't try to make myself look vulnerable and stay in the light and don't walk around like a drunk," said another student.
WIU's Office of Public Safety issued a statement today saying while they do question the data analysis, they are always looking to improve campus safety. (Read "WIU Campus Security officials working to make campus safer")
Here is the full statement:
We will not dwell on the most recent article "The 25 Most Dangerous Colleges in America," published by The Business Insider. My reasoning is: if we did not make the list, should WIU not focus on trying to make our campus safer? What if we again made the StateUniversity.com's list of colleges and universities with the "Highest Safety Ratings?" Does that mean we rest on our laurels and not look to further enhance campus safety and security? Absolutely not. While I do question the data analysis used for such lists, dangerous, safe or otherwise, rankings of this nature can serve a purpose: they initiate discussion and they can provide useful feedback and suggestions from our community, which in turn helps us do our jobs even better. We must all get involved in efforts to make our campus community an even safer place to live, to learn, and to work. Currently, there are approximately 25 percent fewer burglaries reported than last year at this time. A reduction in this category alone is enough to remove WIU from the previously mentioned list, but we cannot stop there. OPS will continue its efforts to make Western Illinois University a campus where its members feel - and are - safe.
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