Amidst the media frenzy surrounding actions of law enforcement throughout the country, California State University, Stanislaus’ Criminal Justice Club, Sigma Chi Upsilon, wants the community to know that they are striving to earn both the knowledge and experience needed to protect and serve.
“We want the community to know that our students care about their safety and we want them to be informed on what we are doing to ensure it,” said club historian Jennifer Okamoto. “These conferences we attend will inform us how to properly do things and how to fix a situation when things get bad.”
One of the conferences Okamoto is referring to is the 78th National Conference for the American Criminal Justice Association in March. There, members will participate in various events, including crime scene investigations, firearm competitions, physical agility courses, exams, workshops, and career fairs.
Given that the conference is being held in Nashville, Tennessee, the club needs all the help it can get from the community to raise $10,000 for registration and hotel fees, as well as transportation. Although a significant amount, their goal is only enough to send approximately 16 of the club’s 30 members.
“We’re trying to think a little bit outside of the box that’s different from other fundraisers that raise money, as well as bring in the community,” said Okamoto. “We’re looking at doing a car wash, karaoke night, and possibly a raffle.”
Prior to their plans to attend the national conference, 12 members traveled to San Diego to participate in the 2014 Regional Conference for the ACJA at the end of October.
Pinned against over 200 individuals from California, Nevada, Idaho, Washington, Hawaii, and Alaska, three members from CSU Stanislaus’ Criminal Justice Club placed in physical agility, juvenile justice, and police management.
Okamoto herself placed first in the police management exam. Two other members, Sarah Richards and Lori Beth Aguilar, placed in the obstacle course portion and juvenile justice exam, respectively.
“I think these conferences are important to us to get our name out as a chapter and to give CSU Stanislaus a great name,” said Okamoto. “This just gives our members an opportunity to prepare for their futures and their careers.”
For over 20 years, the Criminal Justice Club has been participating in a number of events throughout the campus and community, including Relay for Life, Jump for Jude, and the Criminal Justice Mentor Program, which partners college students with at-risk students from Turlock Unified School District.
To make a donation to CSU Stanislaus’ Criminal Justice Club and to find more information about the 78th National Conference, visit gofundme.com/CSUSCJ.