Administration of Justice Club lays down the law

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Good cops need to be good people.
Southwestern College’s Administration of Justice Club works to create both.
AJ Club is the second largest on campus, with 40-50 active members each semester, according to President Art Sanchez. Club members experience expert speakers, team-building city functions and excursions to Donovan’s Correctional Facility.
Club co-advisor Gary Guthrie said that the club is more than just a group that meets once a week. Its mission is to help Administration of Justice students learn about themselves, their futures, and how they can contribute to society.
“The club offers a synergistic idea of what’s expected in life,” he said. “We should all be reassured of our humanity, that not everybody is bad. These students want to make a difference, to leave the world better than they found it. This club offers them the opportunities to build on that humanity, to stand up and do the right thing, even when there’s no personal benefit.”
Guthrie said the club helps broaden students’ perspectives.
“When we’re at Donovan’s, it shows students the realities of incarcerations,” he said. “It’s not (out of a) textbook, this is the way it works.”
Sanchez said the club has helped him grow.
“With our community events, it sort of goes along with the Broken Window Theory where you maintain cleanliness and a standard,” he said. “Going out there shows the community that we’re out there to help in whatever way we can, whether it’s removal of brush or graffiti, it shows that we as a community won’t accept that.”
Club Secretary Shayan Khatiba said advisors Gary Creason and Guthrie fuel the club’s general success.
“They’ve really helped us get to where we are,” he said. “They’re always available to talk with all of us about anything. They’re the reason we can do so many of these great things.”
Club members volunteer at the Villa Bonita Senior Living Center dance, a Valentine’s Day tradition, said Sanchez.
“Club member Erin Wells started talking to one of the elderly residents during the dance, and they were really excited about their son visiting for the weekend,” he said. “Erin had a gut feeling that the son might not show up, so the next day she arrived at the place with flowers. And she was right. I think everyone should strive to be like her and make a positive impact in the community.”
Students interested in law enforcement can practice and learn before beginning the application processes. A Civil Service Interview Seminar showed students how to prepare for the hiring procedures at San Diego County agencies. Guthrie said eight out of the last nine attendees passed their civil service interviews.

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