MOBILE, Ala (WPMI) -- It's a headline no institution would ever want near its name: most dangerous school, but the University of South Alabama ranks among the top 10 dangerous colleges, according to a report published by the business website Business Insider.
The list, first published in mid-November ranked South 8th in the country. "I can see why to some extent because there are some shady areas," student Connor Favreau said, although he still had his doubts about the ranking.
The rankings are per capita for schools with at least 10,000 students and is based on crime statistics compiled by the FBI between 2008 and 2011. In that span, the report said, there were 238 property crimes and 14 violent crimes on or near South's campus.
The stats included the 2011 murder of James Dean in a campus dorm. Because the list is based on FBI stats, crimes like the January 2012 shooting death of Andrew Saxon in a driveway across the street from the campus would likely be included if the list were extended to include 2012 crimes.
That's where the list has drawn some heat, especially from other schools ranked among the top 10. They called the list misleading.
South officials are with them.
"It is inappropriate to comment on the website in question, which has been widely criticized for the quality of its survey," University of South Alabama Public Relations Director Keith Ayers said in an email Thursday, "The University of South Alabama strongly encourages people seeking accurate campus crime data to get it directly from the U.S. Department of Education website, which reflects that USA’s crime statistics are comparable to similar institutions.”
The statment is reflective of The Clery Act, a feder law which requires colleges to publish the number of crimes that happen on a school's campus.
Business Insider compiled an addtional list based just on Clery Act statistics. In the updated list South fell to number 29.
"It seems like a big thing, but i don't see it as a big thing," Julius Spicciani said.
"I don't feel like it really changes how i'm going to act on campus, i'm still going to run around at night and be crazy, not really, but it's not going to change how I act," Favreau said.
In the updated report,
Business Insider Law and Order writer Gus Lubin stood by both lists, calling South and schools like it dangerous. Students and officials on campus, however, are not buying it.