Photo by UWS Marketing & Communications

By: Selina Walters

At first glance, the Criminal Justice Student Association (CJSA), seems like your basic, run of the mill student organization. But it is so much more than that.

This student organization goes much further. Traveling nationwide, competing in competitions, and being involved in the community is what this organization is all about. CJSA’s current president Erica Bauer became involved in the student organization after a case of “peer pressure.” But since then she hasn’t regretted her decision. “I have stayed in the club for one main reason – I love what the club represents and

Whether it be working with the local emergency responders to develop an emergency situation plan, or just having events to help students de-stress with free food during finals week, the CJSA has it all.

The organization also brings in numerous speakers throughout the year to speak with students, and answer any questions regarding how they got to the point where they are, and what exactly their job entails.

Another big aspect of the Criminal Justice Student Association, is competition. There are various competitions throughout the year. These competitions entail everything from crime scene investigations to gun shooting to knowledge competitions. The CJSA has been fairly successful earning many trophies and wins at regional competitions and going as far as participating in national competitions. When the team isn’t traveling for their competitions, which may be as far away as Texas, they are getting involved with their community.

Having local police officers come in and speak is an important aspect of the club. Because of these local ties, the cub has an outreach beyond the college itself. “Our organization is nationally recognized, so a lot of law enforcement, corrections, and legal agencies know us by name,” says Bauer. This leads to a solid form of networking, allowing students in the CJSA to develop their résumé and getting the jobs they would like after graduating from school.

While in school, the club provides opportunity to meet with other students, and get the support you may need to get through your years while in school. You may develop lifelong friendships along the way. When asked about the CJSA, Steve Steblay spoke about how important the organization he
advises is. “Like other UWS organizations, CJSA also builds relationships with fellow students from different cultures and environments to learn organizational and management skills, along with having a lot of fun in the process.”

This student organization is not like other student organizations in the regard of what they do, but they are like other student organizations in the aspect that you are gaining so much just while having fun in the process.

You may think all you are doing is joining a student organization, really, you are gaining confidence, and meeting with people in your future profession — which can only be seen as an overall good thing as you go through school and look for a job post-graduation. So next time you think of the Criminal Justice Society and think you should join, remember how much you gain while having fun.