BY MIRIAM ROBLES
The Administration of Justice club at East Los Angeles College is more than just a club the club president expressed, its a family full of knowledge in criminal justice.
The club helps students open their expectations about what criminal justice is. Many have the impression that the Administration of Justice department is training to become a law enforcement officer, but there is more than that. “The AJ club is one great source to obtain different perspective in criminal justice,” said the club president.
Mary Lugo, president of the AJ club at ELAC, says the club promotes a real perspective of what criminal justice offers and educates the students to better understand how social media has negatively made them believe what criminal justice is.
The AJ department offers many certificates from general certificate to law emphasis, chemical dependency, forensic crime scene investigator, fingerprint identification and many others. Any of the requirements for any of the Certificate or degree relating to majoring in Administration of justice can be obtained in their AJ department office. The club is always open to help if students have any questions or concerns.
The AJ club has approximately 160 members from both ELAC main campus and South Gate campus put together. They also have actively involved professors as the clubs advisers. The advisers of the AJ club are Wayne Posner, Janis Cavanaugh, Cristina E. Fish, Siage Hosea, and Mel Stevenson at the South Gate Campus.
Many of the members agree that with-out the professor’s insight and education from their personal experience in the criminal field, they would of never have had imagined they would be motivated to pursue a career or majoring in administration of justice. Of the professors included are: retired Chief of police, retired police officer, FBI agent, Highway Patrol officers, forensic specialist, latent print examiner and many others in the criminal justice field.
Aside from the professors in the AJ department at ELAC, they also bring in guest speakers who sometimes are former students who have accomplished and majored in Administration of Justice. This helps encourage current students not to give up and follow through.
The club is involved in multiple fundraising activities charity work and field trips. During fundraising events, the club sets up to sell food at least once a week and also host outside charity events. The money raised goes to upcoming charitable events like their thanksgiving food drive, Christmas toy drive and for scholarships given out to AJ major students at their annual banquet hosted for the past 19 years in May.
Usually member participation gets the club members a spot for the field trips. The Los Angeles Coroner’s field trip usually only has a capacity of 30 members and are selected based on how much they have participated in the club events. Other field trips are visiting the LAPD Granada Hills Academy and possibly visiting the Chino Hill Prison once it is approved.
The AJ club hosted their annual Thanksgiving drive for the past 17 years. During the end of October, the club urges members and anyone else on campus to donate canned goods related to Thanksgiving, turkeys or money to buy whatever is needed. The previous year, the club donated 203 boxes to the Maravilla Foundation, which helps low-income residents.
The club also hosts their annual Christmas Toy Drive. This year will be their 19th year hosting it. Club members and everyone else on campus is encouraged to donate unwrapped new toys. The toys are then donated to the Children’s Law Center of Los Angeles, who is the legal representation for foster youth children in the LA County.
Vice President of the AJ club Michelle Arevalo said the club has helped her open up more and meet people interested in the criminal field.
The club is a great opportunity to bond with one another to either give personal opinion of AJ classes they have taken said the vice president. Share insight on job opportunity available which professors put up on the bulletin board in the classroom.
Throughout the years their bond as a club has grown. They consider themselves a family making the professors their role models.
The AJ club and club president thank them for all their motivation and contribution.