This piece is from the Urban Issue. Read the whole thing here!
Whether you’re a freshman or a senior, you have undoubtedly realized that Yale is truly an incredible place: a utopia of academic challenges, stimulating discussions, and happy, beautiful people. You may have also realized that New Haven blows. Yale has some of the greatest, most elaborate libraries the world has to offer. New Haven has Toad’s. Yale makes you book smart. New Haven makes you street smart.*
But, as we enjoy and fend for our lives here, our parents are left at home counting the number of New Haven residents on “America’s Most Wanted” and worrying about whether their “innocent, sweet baby” can make it in “such a damned shithole.” When they ask you how you like New Haven, you can try being evasive: “Since when do you guys ask so many questions?!” Or, you could try being straightforward: “School’s great, and my friends are great. Also the man next to me on the bus with the switchblade wants my wallet. Love you!”
But, as has proven to be the case throughout most of human history, the truth usually just doesn’t cut it. Here are some helpful tips on how to talk to your parents about New Haven crime without making them buy a one-way plane ticket for you out of Tweed Airport.
* Or dead.
Fact: On September 14, a burglar broke into an off- campus apartment occupied by Yale students.
What to tell your parents: “Yale students are enthusiastically encouraged to live on-campus. It creates a great sense of community.”
Fact: On September 27, a graduate student was riding his bicycle when a male punched him in the face and stole his bike.
What to tell your parents: “Everyone here is really eco- friendly when it comes to transportation.”
Fact: New Haven had the 8th highest rate of robbery in 2010.
What to tell your parents: “The city’s doing a great job of spreading the wealth around.”
Fact: From 2009 to 2010, the number of murders in New Haven doubled.
What to tell your parents: “It’s incredible. Something about this place makes me really value my life more than ever before.”
Fact: Between 2010 and 2011, the month-by-month number of non-fatal shooting incidents has increased, as have the 4-month moving averages.
What to tell your parents: “Everyone here is really good at math.”
Fact: The New Haven violent crime rate is 506% greater than the national average.
What to tell your parents: “Everything about this place is exceptional!”
Fact: New Haven is the fourth most dangerous city in the country, according to preliminary FBI data.
What to tell your parents: “We did it, Mom and Dad! We beat Harvard!”