The UAA Justice Club serves time for students

Austin Rodgers, secretary of the UAA justice club, mans the booth in order to raise awareness and attract new members for the club. The club meets every other Friday at 5:30 p.m. in room 119 of the Social Science Building. Their next meeting will be on April 14. Photo credit: Young Kim

The Justice Club has come a long way to opening their doors for the community. The club’s focus has shifted to provide more service for UAA students and the UAA area in general.

“Most of our events have all been free and open to anybody on campus, even in the community.” Joseph Mitzel, club council representative and legal studies major, said. “We like to keep it open to everybody and make sure everybody knows that they’re welcome. We appreciate any kind of support that anybody wants to give for the club. We’re very much about the community.”

The Justice Club is certainly improving and growing. However, unavoidable obstacles prevent the club from forming a consistent transition from year to year.

“It comes down to the difficulty of student engagement and student involvement in extracurricular activities on campus,” Troy Payne, faculty advisor for the Justice Club, said. “We have not had enough interest from students.”

Because of this, some changes may have to occur to not only the Justice Club, but the Pre-Law Society as well.

“We’re working on a merger. Pre-Law Society is actually going to be dissolving into the Justice Club, and the new club is going to be called the Society of Law and Justice. That’ll start next year,” Brad Foster, club president and criminal justice major, said.

As president of the club, Foster is working hard to get this merger done before he graduates. Despite this, the Justice Club is actively branching out to showcase a variety of events and bring in different speakers of differing professions.

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“If you want to really learn about what happens behind the scenes — to a certain extent — in regards to Anchorage and what really happens to the justice side of it, the club is in a perfect spot right now to where you can learn about that,” Foster said.

The importance of college clubs can’t be stressed enough, and the Justice Club is no exception.

“I think my favorite part is very much about the sense of community. A lot of the other members are very close, you know. We’re all friends; a lot of us take the same classes,” Mitzel said. “The clubs are very much there to help and support you throughout the school year.”

Payne agrees with Mitzel regarding the club values.

“The more students are involved in these kinds of organizations at this kind of ground level, where the rubber meets the road, they get exposed to these bigger ideas, and then they have an increasing voice on campus,” Payne said.

The Justice Club voices its importance by giving back to the community. Throughout April, the club will be manning a booth every Tuesday through Thursday called “Breaking the Silence,” which provides support and awareness for domestic abuse and sexual assault victims.

The club meets every other Friday at 5:30 p.m. in room 119 of the Social Science Building. Their next meeting will be on April 14.