WIU makes the list for most dangerous colleges in the US
Wed, 28 Nov 2012 23:38:14 GMT —
It's the talk of the town this week in Macomb.
"I was kind of shocked, because I didn't think the school was that dangerous," Malcolm Canders, a WIU sophomore said.
At a university of more than 12,500 students, campus police at WIU investigated 161 property crimes and 10 violent crimes in 2011 ... eight of which were forcible rapes.
Scott Harris is WIU's new director for the Office of Public Safety. He says those forcible rape cases were not random acts involving a stranger on campus.
"The one's that we have reported to us, the victim and suspect had some type of relationship, or they were acquaintances," Harris said.
Jessica Callahan is a sophomore at WIU. She feels crimes like these have only gotten worse.
"Compared to last year, I feel like we've been having more burglaries, more assaults that have happened, more drug busts and stuff like that," Callahan said.
The university did see an increase in burglaries last year. But this year, they're down 25 percent. The university hopes that number will put it on a better list for 2012.
"Prior to the list coming out, we were in the process of looking at some of our programs and saying, how can we make them better?" Harris said.
New to the campus this fall is a security check throughout the dorms.
If campus police find a dorm room vacant with the door open, they'll slip this notice inside the room and close the door. It's a small reminder of how fast a burglary could occur.
Harris says his department will continue patrols like normal and highly encourage students to take advantage of the escort service provided by the university.
"I definitely make sure that I walk home with someone else or if I'm going out with a group of girls, they all don't walk home by themselves, they stay in the group. I know a few of my friends carry pepper spray," Callahan said.
Students expressed what campus police could do differently to make them feel safer at school.
"It's kind of a toss-up. I feel like they're doing what they can, but I feel like they're trying to concentrate on underage drinking more than drugs and assaults," Callahan said.
"I think they're doing a good enough job, because it could be way worse than what it is right now," Canders said.
In the end, it will take a joint effort among police, students and WIU staff to create a safer environment.
Data used in the Business Insider study came from the FBI's Unified Crime Report.
If you're wondering which campus ranked number 1 ... it's the University of California-Los Angeles.