University of Minnesota Campus Ranks Among the Worst in Safety

Mitchell Rolling

How safe is the University of Minnesota campus compared to other U.S. colleges? According to The National Council for Home Safety and Security, not very.

Of the 243 colleges with 10,000 or more students listed in the “2018 Safest College Campuses in America” ranking, the University of Minnesota came in at 199. This ranking is worse than the State University of New York at Buffalo and Birmingham (193 and 181), the University of California – Los Angeles (162), and the University of Illinois – Chicago (185).

University of Minnesota – Duluth campus also beat out the Twin Cities coming in at 160.

How did they come up with these rankings? 

As the StarTribune noted, the National Council for Home Safety and Security is located in Washington D.C. and is backed by “licensed alarm installers, contractors, and others in the industry.” 

According to the council’s website, the ranking “was calculated by analyzing crimes reported by universities, including rapes, robberies, assaults, burglaries, motor vehicle theft and arsons.” The council also looked at violent and property crimes within the city each school is located, as well as how many officers are employed by each college. They used “the most recent data from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting and the Campus Safety Security Survey put out by the U.S. Department of Education.” 

What did the University say about the low placement?

They issued a statement on Tuesday, stating, “The University has made and continues to make significant investments to enhance public safety while engaging with the campus community to provide a safe environment for learning.”

Regardless of what “significant investments” have been made to “enhance public safety,” these efforts seem to be failing.

The UMN’s own crime report supports this. It details that “Part I” offenses at the University of Minnesota have increased by 16 percent from 2016 to 2017. The most popular crime by far is theft, rising from 462 to 523. But more violent crimes are increasing as well, such as CSC-rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, and motor theft. Homicide and arson cases are non-existent.

Campuses with lower enrollment and those located in smaller cities were higher on the list on-average, but some did manage to fall to the bottom. With an enrollment of only 11,891, the University of Arkansas is ranked at 240. Emory University in Georgia also ranked low, coming in at 241 with an enrollment of 13,788. 

The University of Minnesota has relatively low numbers in the “violent crime” category for how big of a campus it is. However, it still ranks among the highest in “property crime.”

This leads to further questions as to how much the University is to blame and whether any fault rests on the cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis. A lot of the campus assaults occur on the light rail, or shortly after exiting, as detailed in many UMN crime updates sent out in emails to students and faculty.

Light-rail trains and other public transportation’s in the Twin Cities have been increasingly called out for safety concerns, with many operators threatening a strike if the problem is not fixed. This is only one of the many complaints raised against the light-rail system.