I’ve heard it’s pretty common for students to be mugged near campus. How unsafe is the neighborhood that the University of Chicago is located in?
While muggings do occasionally occur, they are not very common. One thing you should know is that some of the surrounding neighborhoods around the university are lower income neighborhoods. This, in combination with the fact that Hyde Park (the university’s neighborhood) has become very affluent, creates some problematic situations. Personally, I think the issue is less about safety (in my four years there I was never mugged and don’t know anyone who was), but more about social issues such as income and racial inequality. Chicago is one of the most racially segregated cities in the United States.
I definitely do not think it’s a bad thing for students to be exposed to these issues. In fact, I think that students can learn a lot from experiencing, first-hand, the effects of unjust institutional arrangements.