By Zachary Brooks                                                                                     CCC Journalism Program

At Camden County College, students can be as engaged as they please outside of classes.

For instance, there is the Criminal Justice Society.

Jacob Velasquez, a criminal justice major in his second semester at CCC, is president of the club. Crystal Santiago, also a criminal justice major and in her fourth semester at CCC, is vice president.

They said the club feels like a family and there is no need to be shy, because everyone’s voice is heard.

The group has done volunteering, such as tree planting and bake sales, said Velasquez.

They have taken trips to Fairton Prison in Fairton, Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, and The New York City Police Museum, said Velasquez and Santiago.

They also visited Washington D.C. where they saw the U.S. Senate, the U.S. Supreme Court, and the National Museum of Crime and Punishment.

While discussing the trip to Eastern State Penitentiary, Santiago said, “We actually got to see the inside of the full prison.

We learned how prisoners were housed and where they ate.”

On April 10, the Criminal Justice Society had a guest speaker, Yaron Helmer, a Criminal Trial Attorney whose law firm, Helmer, Paul, Conley and Kasselman, has seven offices.

Helmer talked about law school, the courts and how they work, interactions between police and suspects, and stories from his own career.

Velasquez would like the group to increase in size and expressed interest in having the group take overnight trips in the future.

Another choice for students is the International Club.

The president is Paulina Kruszewski, a biology major in her fourth semester at CCC. Cedrick Darbouze, the vice president, is an international studies major in his fourth semester at CCC.

“We do lots of fun things, but International Day is going to be the best,” said Susan Pitts, a sign language major, during the April 12 meeting of the club.

International Day is the main yearly event for the club. It took place on April 19 in the Connector Building in the Blackwood campus. A few aspects of it this year were a cultural fashion show, a magician, and a drum demonstration.

“It went amazing,” said Kruszewski. “I was hoping for the best and it exceeded my expectations.”

Pitts said a game night, a movie night, and a Super Bowl party are some of the activities the group has done for fun. The group also has volunteered, such as rebuilding homes in Camden with Habitat For Humanity, and has collected books and clothing for charity, said Pitts.

Darbouze said there is a possibility the group will go on a trip to Dorney or Hershey park in the future.

Another club to consider is the Dead Poets Society, which held its fifth Poetic Idol competition on April 24.

“It keeps getting better and better each year,” said Nick Fishman, an English major in his third semester at CCC.

Fishman said there are no more meetings or events this semester, but the group will resume them in the fall.

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