CJ College Offers Six Student Organizations

Student organizations are available at Parent's Weekend and the Criminal Justice Open House.
Student organizations are available at Parent's Weekend and the Criminal Justice Open House.

Whether planning a career in criminal justice, victim services, forensic science or the law, the College of Criminal Justice has a student organization to help you get there.

The College offers six student organizations to meet the unique needs and interests of future professionals in the field. In addition to hosting outside speakers, these groups provide community service opportunities around campus or in the community and give students the support and camaraderie to excel in their academic and professional pursuits.

"Our students not only serve our College at such events as the CJ Spring Picnic and Saturdays@Sam, they also do a lot of service for the University and the community," said Dr. Holly Miller, Assistant Dean of Undergraduate ProgramS. "We have an exceptional group of student leaders."

The largest group at the College is Lambda Alpha Epsilon (LAE), a national organization of students and professionals in criminal justice. The group boasts more than 120 members at Sam Houston State University and provides networking with professionals, skill development through competitions, and a diverse array of volunteer opportunities.

"We all have the same goal, the same ambitions and the same end game in mind," said LAE Past President Tyler Eberhart. "It helps have an organization that backs that. Everyone knows the decisionS we make here are the ones we have to live with and the choices we make and the avenues we go down are the ones that get us to the final results. As future professionals, we are able to understand the field of criminal justice."

LAE participates in competitions with other chapters in the area and across the nation, and last year won the Sweepstakes Award for Region 2, which includes LAE chapters in Arkansas, New Mexico, Texas, Arizona, Louisiana and Oklahoma. The competition tests firearms skills, physical agility, crime scene investigation, knowledge about the chapter, criminal law, police management, corrections and juvenile justice. The organization also provided 550 hours of community service last year with a wide variety of events.

Alpha Phi Sigma is a criminal justice honor society that recognizes academic excellence among undergraduate and graduate majors in the field. To qualify for the organization, students must maintain a 3.2 grade point average both in their overall academic program as well as criminal justice courses. The group volunteers at many activities around campus, including the Criminal Justice Career Fair, a bone marrow drive and Saturdays@Sam.

“We promote to incoming students how much of an achievement it is to be in Alpha Phi Sigma, which is a national honor society,” said Past President Erin Stephens.

The National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice is a non-profit, professional organization that promotes the advancement of criminal justice.

"This is the only NABCJ student organization in Texas, and we are trying to introduce the organization at Prairie View and the University of Houston and other colleges in Texas," said President Stephany Fitz.

The organization sponsors Women’s Week, which raises awareness of women’s issues through events on physical fitness, professional advice for future careers, and domestic violence. The group also held a mini-conference that allowed criminal justice students to network with practitioners from the Drug Enforcement Agency, juvenile justice, and forensic investigation.

NABCJ members volunteer at the after school program at Scott Johnson Elementary School and participate in highway cleanups and Saturdays@SAM.

Phi Alpha Delta is the pre-law fraternity for Sam Houston State University. It assists students interested in attending law school. The group is building relationships outside the university and hosted an open forum with the Walker County District Attorney’s Office. It also promoted better relationships between the student body and law enforcement through a program called “Bridging the Gap.”

"We were able to help strengthen that relationship that is often forgotten, between student body and law enforcement," said President Dakeitha Haynes.

The Crime Victim Service Alliance, which was revived last year, promotes the victim’s rights movement and assists students pursuing careers in the criminal justice field. The group held events for National Crime Victims Week, providing teal ribbons to students in memory of those affected by crimes. It also hopes to get involved with victims’ groups in the community in the future.

"Our mission is to promote victim’s rights both as a movement and within the criminal justice field," said President Molly Smith.

The Society of Forensic Science is an undergraduate and graduate student criminal justice organization that brings together students interested in forensic science at Sam Houston State University. The organization facilitates and encourages research and theory development related to forensic science by providing guest speakers from various professional forensic disciplines.

The society also serves as a platform for student members to network and interact in academic research in order to further their knowledge about the discipline of forensic science. Members are encouraged to attend academic conferences and to present their original scholarly research.

The organization also volunteers at many SHSU and community events such as Saturdays @ Sam, Relay for Life, and canned food drives. Members also enjoy numerous social events such as picnics, holiday parties, and prison tours of the Walls and Ellis Units.

"The Society of Forensic Science strives to meet their members’ forensically related interests by arranging for a wide variety of forensic professionals to speak at meetings in regards to their educational and career experiences,” said President Ashleigh Faris. 'Participating in SFS is a great way for students to learn about the advancements being made in the field of forensic science and to build contacts that can aid them in their future careers."

Member of The Texas State University System