Criminal Justice Club hopes to be a resource for those in the major

Suffolk University’s Criminal Justice Council is a new resource for those interested in learning more about the types of careers they can enter in the criminal justice field.

The Suffolk Criminal Justice Council, or SCJC, is a new club that meets on Tuesdays during activities period, 1:05-2:20 p.m., and is led by co-presidents Abby Cluff, Class of 2022, and Sophia Kozlowsky, Class of 2020. The club is also run by Maddie Herlihy, Class of 2022, SCJC treasurer, and Alyssa Hoelscher, Class of 2021, who is the organization’s secretary.

SCJC provides students with opportunities to learn more about their career options in the criminal justice field through presentations from guest speakers and other events.

Each month, the club intends to cover a different career within the criminal justice field and host a guest speaker who specializes in that career, Cluff said.

“Many people feel that they lack control with the current state of the world,” said Cluff. “Our goal is to provide a consistent and reliable source of information regarding careers in the CJ field.”

The introduction of SCJC comes shortly after Suffolk University’s announcement of the new criminal justice major, which was only available previously as a concentration of the sociology department.

“Since the CJ Sociology concentration is so large, and Suffolk now has a standalone CJ major, we felt like there was a sizable population of students who intend to go into the field,” said Kozlowsky. “We wanted to create a space for anyone interested to come and explore different careers in the field, talk to other students with similar interests, and talk to professionals in the field.”

After recent protests surrounding police brutality, many are demanding reform within the justice system as a result of systemic racism. Cluff and Kozlowsky said that they are strong believers in criminal justice reform and are fully supportive of the Black Lives Matter movement. SCJC is working with other student groups to help amplify voices of color and facilitate discussions on this topic.

In order to become a general member with full voting rights in SCJC, participants must attend two meetings every month in addition to one outside event per academic year.

“We’re considering making every other meeting a virtual recording that covers the information we would have shared during a Zoom call,” said Cluff. “While this plan is still under advisement, we hope this will help members combat the “Zoom fatigue” that we are all experiencing with online learning.”

Establishing a new organization during a pandemic is no easy task, and Cluff and Kozlowsky have together faced some challenges in creating connections with members, as well as generating participation.

“We feel disconnected because none of our e-board is on campus and we feel like we lose that personal aspect of collaboration and connection over Zoom,” Cluff added. “Additionally, we wanted to get to know our members on a more personal level; we created this club so people could make connections and that’s a lot harder to do virtually.”

Though the club appeals mostly to those studying criminal justice, Cluff and Kozlowsky urge any student who may be interested in the field to look into SCJC. Students who are interested can find more information on SCJC’s Instagram: @suffolkcjc.

Follow Grace on Twitter @gracedreher_