I really hate to do this. But, at some point being publicly attacked, having your factual integrity questioned, and having a solid and personally important editorial responded to with an overtly condescending “/dur” from a campus fixture necessitates some kind of response.
To recap, Danny S. (aka the Critical Badger) really didn’t like my most recent column in the BH on campus safety, or the column I wrote a year ago that it was a follow up to. It looks like he even hated the first one so much that he failed to read the second one, which, I will admit, was a more complete and responsible column.
Danny sent an email to Jack, Jason Smathers at the Herald, Ald. Bryon Eagon and me titled “Getting facts straight,” where he implied that the facts in my most recent column weren’t correct. You can see his full explanation of this claim on his post at U&S.
This appears to be what he has an issue with in my column:
“In the column, I cited crime statistics from a then recently released Campus Safety Guide to show the miniscule risk violent crime posed to students on campus, in a general attempt to push back against the irrational emphasis being placed on crime in the campaign.
To which he opined at U&S:
Yes, crime literally on the grounds of UW-Madison is generally not a problem. That’s because they happen OFF CAMPUS. Data not included in this report.
Of course, he shouldn’t be so dismissive of the crime dealt with by campus police around campus, because anyone who lives in a dorm falls completely under that category, and it affects a great deal of additional students as well. Pick up a campus map and take a look, there are campus buildings on more than just Bascom Hill.
The shortsightedness of his criticism doesn’t stop there. In a response email I was forced to point out the obvious to him:
You will also notice that I bring in city crime statistics as well. Admittedly, I do not have exact numbers for the few specific streets or the very limited areas where campus and city are blurred. A consolidation of those numbers does not exist that I can find, and I have spent time looking for them, including asking Eagon if he has any.
At any rate, it is somewhat irrelevant. The point of the column wasn’t to calculate the exact risk of crime every student is subject to while living in Madison. It was to use some relevant data to show that safety issues might not be as big of a deal as the candidates were making it out to be. Citing a combination of campus crime stats as well as city stats (considering city stats include parts of the city much less wealthy and safe than the city around campus) seems sufficient to do the trick, while in no way being disingenuous.
Nothing factually inaccurate. No misrepresentation. Not disingenuous. Just an argument you fail to agree with or pick up on.