Criminal Justice club brings speakers to campus

By SARAH McDONALD News Reporter

The criminal justice club is not a secret band of masked superheroes like Batman, serving justice and saving SDSU like it’s Gotham City, but simply a group of students who care about the law. Even if its members don’t run around with capes, they have the exciting opportunity to learn about criminal justice through guest lectures and field trips.

The club is not only for students taking the classes or criminal justice minor, but also for any student who is interested in learning about the club, said Julie Yingling, Criminal Justice Club Advisor.

The club is mainly student-run and the goal is to reflect student desires and to have what students want in a club, according to Yingling.

About three to six times a semester the club welcomes guest speakers to talk to students.  In the past the club has welcomed a parole agent, a game warden, a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent and a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent.

“The DEA and FBI agents spoke about federal law, federal requirements and going under cover,” Yingling said. “It was a big hit with about 60 students that came.”

The club also tries to take fields trips. Last semester the club traveled to Sioux Falls and toured the prison. The club has scheduled another tour of the prison this April.

To become an official member of the criminal justice club students need to pay a $5 fee, which gives them access to the field trip and a pizza party that is held once a semester, Yingling said. Students don’t need to be an official member to see any of the guest speakers.

The meetings are once a month on Tuesdays at 7 p.m. According to Yingling, this is because the meetings are usually based around the guest speakers.

Sandra Minter, a sexual assault nurse examiner, was the first guest speaker of the semester.

The dates and times for guest speakers can be found on flyers around campus and even on Facebook (SDSU Criminal Justice) and Twitter (@SDSUCJCLUB).

The group will take part in a community event in May called, “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes; the international men’s march to stop rape, sexual assault and gender violence.” The event is Friday, May 1 in downtown Brookings. The money raised from the event will be donated to the domestic violence shelter in Brookings.

As a student not involved with criminal justice, Andrea Zavadil, a freshman bio-technology major, said she thinks going to some of the guest speakers could be interesting.

“I saw some of the flyers last semester,” Zavadil said. “But I never had the time to go to any of the guest speakers, mainly because I was busy with classes.”

Even though she is not minoring in criminal justice, she thinks the club is good at trying to involve other students by bringing different guest speakers, Zavadil said.

“This semester I will definitely try to make it to some of the guest speaker events,” Zavadil said, “I will even tell my friends to come.”