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Criminology Student Association
Community is needed now more than ever, something that Simon Fraser University’s (SFU) Criminology Student Association (CSA) knows all about. Building a web of resources and support for criminology students, the CSA is the go-to place for all things criminology.
The CSA is made up of a group of resourceful and welcoming students eager to offer encouragement, friendship, and an active sense of SFU community involvement to anyone who wants to join. Organizing and participating in exciting events are only a couple of the opportunities that the CSA offers.
Keeping the priorities of students at the forefront of their goals, the students behind the CSA are also keeping their cool under unique circumstances during the COVID pandemic. Working together to increase student participation and maintain responsibility over criminology-related academic pursuits, the CSA continues to thrive.
What is CSA?
The CSA is a group of undergraduate Criminology students who are passionate about creating a sense of community among students and within the department. What makes the CSA noteworthy is our growth. Since last year, CSA has doubled in size. In one year, it went from a dormant departmental student union (DSU) to having every executive position filled and members at large attending meetings regularly, which speaks to our ability to engage students despite COVID-like barriers. We are also hosting events on a weekly basis that provide Criminology students with meaningful experiences that provide an escape from online learning, yet also contribute towards students’ criminological learning.
The objectives of the CSA are: to represent and promote the academic interests and welfare of its members to the School of Criminology’s faculty members; to stimulate and promote criminological and legal inquiry; and to provide an organized body through which Criminology students may actively participate in university affairs.
CSA is comprised of a diverse group of students who came together to create our Black Lives Matter statement to show our support for the cause. We are working with the faculty to come up with ways where we can Indigenize our education/curriculum. We want ALL students' voices to be heard on this issue.
What are the benefits of joining CSA? What services do you provide?
One of many benefits of CSA membership is being a part of something larger than yourself. By joining the CSA, members enhance the community for all criminology students through social events, professional meet and greets, and Q&A sessions. Our outstanding social media team ensures that even during remote learning, students can stay abreast of the CSA’s activity.
Through the student union, students are able to meet like-minded individuals and create lasting friendships. Moreover, there are opportunities to network with professors within our faculty. We host events that connect students with professionals in the Criminology field and opportunities to network with other students who share your career goals.
Our team is very close and supportive of one another. When one member faces a particularly stressful week or unexpected event, the other members collectively carry the load. We are welcoming, receptive, and understanding to everyone whether or not they are members.
How can students join CSA?
Every student who is a declared Criminology major or minor, or who is in at least one Criminology class in the current semester is considered a General Member or Member at Large of the CSA. To hold an executive position, students must be voted in during our general election, which typically occurs at the beginning of the fall semester. Both executives and general members can attend all weekly meetings.
A great way to join the CSA or keep up to date with our events is through our social media. We are very active at engaging with our student body. This has been especially important during the shift to remote learning.
Why should students get involved?
Here are some anecdotes from current CSA members:
- Students should get involved because we are a like-minded group of students, pushing for change in our current curriculum/education. Additionally, it is a great way to make friends who are interested in the same things as you! - Chantel
- Students should join the CSA as it will help grow you as an individual! You get to try new things and meet new people. - Karly
- Students should become involved with the CSA because it’s a chance to hear about lots of great Criminology-related opportunities or to be a part of making change. Students should also become involved to meet new people with shared interests or attend fun Criminology events to feel connected to the SFU community. - Emma
- Students should get involved with the CSA because it allows students to engage in the community at SFU beyond their scheduled classes. This helps to tear down the “commuter” school culture at SFU. - Arsh
- Students should get involved with the CSA because it opens the door to so many opportunities, both on-campus and off-campus! - Asia
How have things changed under the current circumstances with everything going online?
Having all meetings online has allowed more students to attend. The shift online has pushed us to think outside the box when planning events and opportunities for our students. We have established a strong, vibrant digital presence which will continue to be an asset when school returns to in-person learning. We are doing the best we can to get students engaged and continue with our hard work this semester. For example, we hosted several Zoom Kahoots and are planning other online events in the coming months.
What does CSA provide that people may not know about?
You get CCR credit for executive positions!