A N N   A R B O R   I S   O V E R R A T E D . (a blog.)


Frank () - 2003-11-03 10:20:28
Well, MSU's campus is seperate from the city. Its friggin huge so they have ample room to build more dorms, and its closer to west michigan, which automatically makes it safer than the detroit suburb ann arbor is.

js ([email protected]) - 2003-11-03 10:49:48
A) Lansing's in the middle of the state, not the west side. Kalamazoo, which is pretty clearly on the west side, has a lot of crime because it's a destitute area and part of the Chicago-Detroit drug corridor. B) Ann Arbor's only a suburb of Detroit if Lansing's a suburb of Grand Rapids. Conclusion: While glib, your reasons can be dismissed pretty easily. js

Larry Kestenbaum ([email protected]) - 2003-11-03 12:15:49
I grew up in East Lansing, went to MSU undergrad, and have lived in Ann Arbor for 13 years; I'm pretty familiar with both campuses. It makes sense to me that MSU would have fewer burglaries. The campus is not exactly "separate" from the city, but the campus/noncampus zones are very well defined. Most of the dorms are remote and isolated compared to UM's. The dorms in Ann Arbor are in a more urban setting, where a nonstudent wandering around (burglar or not) doesn't stand out. At least when I was there, MSU dorms had no security, being basically open to the public from 7am until 11pm. UM dorms have very tight security by comparison. The extra security is surely in response to the higher crime rate that AAIO has pointed out.

Larry Kestenbaum ([email protected]) - 2003-11-03 12:17:26
Yikes -- the comment system ignores paragraph breaks.

Frank () - 2003-11-03 12:42:25
You left out benton harbor :P

ann arbor is overrated () - 2003-11-03 13:31:51
Well, when I lived in Cambridge, the college dorms there and in Boston that I was familiar with had very lax security, even though some of them were in pretty sketchy areas, and I don't remember hearing about crime like this (I think I may have heard that BU runs theirs like a police state, though.) Larry - do you remember what the off-campus crime was like there? In the Daily article, MSU's size is cited as making it harder to police, so I thought that was interesting.

ann arbor is overrated () - 2003-11-03 13:32:34
You're right about the paragraph breaks.

Here, see if that works.

Leighton ([email protected]) - 2003-11-03 15:09:21
I still wonder about the veracity of those AA / Ypsi crime blotter maps ...and this confirms some suspicions...

Larry Kestenbaum ([email protected]) - 2003-11-03 15:57:37

Off-campus street crime got to be a bigger problem in East Lansing after I left in 1988 (leading to massive and costly police presence downtown: the Ann Street triangle supposedly has a cop present just about around the clock). Burglaries did happen, especially in student apartments during term breaks, but nobody I knew was ever hit. Overall, East Lansing is a suburb and not a high crime area.

Another difference between EL and AA, like it or not, is that more UM students probably come from very affluent backgrounds (many from out of state) and have more stuff worth stealing. MSU, sad to say, has pretty much quit recruiting Merit Scholars, and has hardly any out-of-state students these days.

The Ann Arbor Observer pioneered the crime map, and I assume it's accurate so far as it goes (note the limited categories of crimes, and the fact that incidents outside the city limits aren't mapped). The Ann Arbor News map is just an imitation of the Observer's idea.

Larry Kestenbaum ([email protected]) - 2003-11-03 16:07:26

At a party a few years ago, I saw an art collection worth millions of dollars (no joke), displayed on the walls of an apartment in run-down Ann Arbor student housing. Hard to imagine that in East Lansing.

The tenant, who inherited the paintings, did have a good alarm system, though.

ann arbor is overrated () - 2003-11-03 16:13:31
Maybe the combination of things worth stealing and poor security? But what do students from affluent backgrounds have that other students don't? Nice cars, but that doesn't factor into this. Laptops, maybe. Don't most public universities in general have a significant portion of in-state students whose parents bribed them with nice things to get them to avoid private school?

Larry Kestenbaum ([email protected]) - 2003-11-03 16:28:10

You're kidding, right? Not everyone has wealthy parents.

When I was in school, nothing I had was worth stealing. When I lived in Detroit (as a law student at Wayne State University), my housemates and I took it for granted that we'd be burglarized, so we deliberately only had cheap stuff.

Soon, in my own blog, I'm planning to compare and contrast Ann Arbor and Ithaca. So I'll discuss this more later. But one indelible impression from Cornell was the astonishing wealth of the undergrads, quite in contrast to us desperate and destitute grad students. I'd say that UM is more like Cornell in that respect than MSU.

ann arbor is overrated () - 2003-11-03 17:21:03
Right, but I wonder if there are enough MSU students with wealthy parents to make the difference between the campuses negligible. Also, I haven't been an undergrad on either campus, but most students from affluent backgrounds that I've known haven't had anything worth stealing. Nice shoes and clothes, good beer, organic food, maybe, but a burglar can't or won't steal that kind of stuff. Students in general know they move around a lot and often don't make a lot of major purchases.

Plus, if the parents are paying for the A2 rents, they might hold off on the extras. (I assume East Lansing rent is less?)

anna () - 2003-11-03 20:11:23
I can't believe that the difference has anything to do with UMers having more stuff to steal. I agree with AAIO: students don't tend to have a whole lot of stuff. Furthermore, even ones who aren't from affluent families usually have electronics like small stereos and TVs (at least one person in each apartment, anyway). The things that distinguish the wealthier students from the less wealthy students tend to be the amount of financial aid and whether or not they have cars and how many people they share a room with, not whether or not they have a few things that someone might want. Even people in the numerous housing projects in my current locale have TVs and stereos -- the types of things that get stolen -- despite that by all measures they are by no means wealthy. In my ten years at UM, I was always shocked at how much crime there was in Ann Arbor. In particular, I found the number of sexual assaults shocking for the size of the city (not even counting the serial rapist -- and at that, I was shocked at how long it took people to get up in arms. It was like 5 or 6 in quick sucession before people even started talking, 8 or 9 before people were in a frenzy ). I was also shocked at how many accidents there were at the William/S. Division intersection -- at least one every weekend. Do they still have those stupid lights that blink red in one direction and yellow in the other after 11 PM? It's a spectacularly bad idea, since the people on the yellow side assume the people coming in the other direction are going to stop.

anna () - 2003-11-03 20:16:13
er.... I meant "...the people on the red side assume the people coming in the other direction are going to stop."

Frank () - 2003-11-03 21:04:44
If people on the Red side don't stop, let's just say, it wasn't the traffic light that caused the accident.

__earth () - 2003-11-03 23:11:05
maybe it's just the UM students. Just recently (it wasn't in the Daily), somebody urinated on the computers in West Quad's computer lab. The lab is now closed for cleaning.

Larry Kestenbaum ([email protected]) - 2003-11-03 23:28:32
At least the vandal left a DNA sample... :-)

Frank () - 2003-11-04 00:55:23
Because of the broken-down nature of the genetic material in it, DNA cannot be obtained from urine.

anna () - 2003-11-04 10:03:44
Just to clarify, Frank: The people on the red side stop, then, as the person on the yellow side approaches, they happily procede into the intersection, as if they are at a four-way stop. Since there is no signage saying otherwise, it's a reasonable assumption -- 99% of the time, when people encounter stop signs they the signs require everyone to stop in every direction and take turns.

Murph ([email protected]) - 2003-11-04 12:58:25
Larry-- Cornell sounds a lot like Princeton in its grad/undergrad wealth split. You can tell what somebody is by their car: Honda Civic = grad student (just as it does at every other school), BWM = undergrad (UMich prefers the Jetta, I think, and also has a much higher rate of SUVs), Lexus = faculty, Caddy = parent or alum. Obviously, I jest, but it's not an unfair generalization. The few Princeton undergrads I've known personally were not by any means the most visibly affluent (no cars, no flashy dress habits), and yet still had amazingly expensive computers/stereos/cd & dvd collections/miscellaneous other value-dense objects.

Frank () - 2003-11-04 14:51:00
I see your point now. Blinkers are all fine and wonderful when its blatantly obvious that the other side is not going to stop (like highways). But that light really should be a 4 way flashing blinker.

Frank () - 2003-11-04 14:51:24
er, that flashes red.

anna () - 2003-11-04 16:40:12
LEXUS = FACULTY??? That must be senior faculty, 'cuz most junior faculty drive the cars they drove in grad school ;-)

Frank () - 2003-11-04 19:28:55
You can't swing a dead spartan without hitting a BM round here.

Murph ([email protected]) - 2003-11-05 09:08:25
Anna: yes, senior faculty indeed. P-ton treats its junior faculty like grad students, but expects them to work twice as hard. And never, ever gives them tenure. In order to be a tenured P-ton faculty member, you have to get tenure at some other prestigious school and then get hired away by P-ton. And when P-ton buys your loyalty, they do it *well*, from what I can tell. The senior faculty whose homes I've visited live in houses that easily cost a half-million (did I mention that hefty home subsidies are part of the bribe used to recruit senior faculty?), while the junior faculty live in 500-square-foot apartments. Ann Arbor is only mediocre in its overratedness.

anna () - 2003-11-06 12:44:52
Murph: Yes, I have first-hand experience with the tenure practices of the ivy league ;-)

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