Clubs and Organizations

Alpha Phi Sigma

Alpha Phi Sigma (APS) is the only National Criminal Justice Honor Society for Criminal Justice Majors. The society recognizes academic excellence of undergraduate and graduate students of criminal justice. Alpha Phi Sigma is the only Criminal Justice Honor Society which is a certified member of the Association of College Honor Societies and affiliated with the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences.

APS is an honorary and professional organization. Membership in APS showcases students’ achievements as well as provides opportunities to participate in social and community activities. APS holds a national conference in conjunction with the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences meeting (every March). This is an excellent opportunity to meet with other members of APS and also network with professionals in the criminal justice field.

The Mercyhurst University Chapter of Alpha Phi Sigma is the Upsilon Chapter, which was chartered in October 1981. The Chapter has received 3 national awards for most outstanding Chapter. Criminal Justice honor society students have been active participants in community projects, campus presentations, and national meetings of Alpha Phi Sigma.

Recent APS activities include:
  • Participation in an ACJS conference in Dallas, TX 
  • Coordination of a cell phone drive, benefited Safe-Net, a domestic violence shelter
  • Halloween crafts with youth at the Martin Luther King Center 
  • Poinsettia sale (fundraiser for the conference)
  • Induction Ceremony at the Erie Yacht Club, with a federal judge as a featured speaker
  • Wearing honor cords at graduation ceremony

Requirements for Membership: (Undergraduate students)
  • Declare a criminal justice major or minor
  • Maintain a minimum of 3.2 overall GPA on a 4.0 Scale
  • Maintain a 3.2 GPA on a 4.0 scale in criminal justice courses
  • Rank in the top 35% of their class
  • Have completed a minimum of four criminal justice courses

If interested, please stop by Dr. Garase’s office (120 Preston) with your
-Program Evaluation from WebAdvisor
-Completed Application
-Money Order for $50.00 (Let’s make sure you are eligible prior to getting the money order)

Why Students Join APS?
  • Meets 1 requirement for starting at GS-7 pay scale (federal government jobs)
  • Opportunity to go to National conferences
  • Involvement with the Criminal Justice Department!
  • Scholarship Opportunities
  • Professional Development
  • Participation in academic and social enrichment activities (i.e., prison tours, speakers, field trips)!
  • Network with criminal justice practitioners, which is beneficial to future employment (Conferences)!
  • Obtain service hours by participating in community service projects! 
  • Resume builder for those who take an active role in the organization!

APS Contact: Dr. Maria Garase
Phone: (814) 824-3675

Criminal Justice Club

The purposes of the Criminal Justice Club is to recognize and promote learning within field experiences; to assist students in preparing for a career in the criminal justice field; and to recognize and appreciate the necessity of education along with practical experience and training in becoming professional criminal justice practitioners. Members of the CJ Club bring speakers on campus, got to Shoot, Don’t Shoot activities, go to the firearm safety courses, and coordinate student field trips.

Examples of some of their activities include:

  • Speakers (juvenile probation, BARJ coordinator, forensic pathologist, district attorney, ROTC recruiter)
  • Shoot, Don’t Shoot Simulation (Students go to the police academy and “shoot” targets as well as seen various scenarios on an interactive computer screen and have to decide to shoot the perpetrator or not given the situation. This is a computer simulation used by officers in their trainings. 
  • Firearm Familiarization (Students who have never fired a weapon before can attend a firearms familiarization workshop. A certified firearm instructor walked students through firearm usage and allows the students to use firearms in a controlled and supervised range.) 
  • Field Trips (Students have coordinated field trip to local prisons and the court house to sit in on hearings) 
Advisor Contact
CJ Club Contact: Dr. Rodriguez
Phone: 814-824-3109
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