Methodology: 100 Most Dangerous College Campuses in New England
Monday, March 25, 2013
GoLocal obtained the Clery database information on every New England institution that had reported in 2011, and then culled institutions smaller than an enrollment of 500.
GoLocal obtained 3 years of the most recent data for each school (2011, 2010, 2009), seeking to gain a broader sense of reported crimes over a span of years.
Reporting the data
The Clery data is broken into 9 categories:
Sex offenses - Forcible
Sex offenses - Non-forcible
Motor vehicle theft
GoLocal averaged the number of each school's crimes in each category, based on 3 years of data. In a very few cases, only two years were available (a new campus, for example, since 2010), and GoLocal averaged the two years.
GoLocal computed an average enrollment for each college based on its reported enrollments in the Clery database. It used this enrollment to create a per capita crime rate in each of the 9 categories.
(Note: some colleges and universities reported more than one campus location underneath one enrollment total. In this case, GoLocal combined the campuses within the larger enrollment number to yield a sum that was fairly divisible by the total enrollment. Those campuses are indicated by an asterisk after their enrollment number with an italicized note.)
Weighting the data
To arrive at a ranking, GoLocal applied the following weighting to each school's average crime rate:
.75: Murder/Non-negligent manslaughter
.75: Negligent manslaughter
.5: Sex offenses - Forcible
.5: Sex offenses - Non-forcible
.25: Aggravated assault
.33 Motor vehicle theft
Each school's 9 weighted values were summed, then expressed as a readable Crime Index by multiplying by 10,000. The schools were ranked from lowest crime index (equating to lower crime rates per capita), to highest.
GoLocal acknowledges that the nature of the Clery reporting creates the possibility of schools not accurately reporting criminal activities on their campuses, whether intentionally or unintentionally. This analysis and comparison of New England's Clery data is an attempt to expose the system and provoke further investigation into campus crime and how it is handled.
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