By Sibila Patsy
Becoming a lawyer, police officer or having a job within the government, or being a part of a civil rights organization is an aspiration of many students that enter the doors of Roosevelt University. The government, law, and justice department is a place for students to get started on these dreams.
Roosevelt University chose associate criminal justice professor LaDonna Long, before the beginning of the 2017-2018 academic year. “The new configuration, the department of government, law and justice includes political science and public administration, legal studies, criminal justice and paralegal studies,” said Long.
Taking the new position for Long comes after a long tenure at Roosevelt as an professor in criminal justice. Before that she taught sociology and criminology at Capital University. Professor Long has her Ph.D in criminology, law and justice from University of Illinois at Chicago and also for being a prominent advocate for social justice in the city.
Long said the change is bringing positives and benefits for both faculty members and students. Long said combining the programs provides collaboration between the professors and students. Students in political science will have more access to classes in paralegal studies, psychology, or other classes that fall under the new department.
“It is also an opportunity to expose our students to various issues in society, which can be facilitated by being involved in the Joseph Loundy Project that focuses on human rights,” said Long.
The new appointee said that each program can stand alone but now, with the new structure, there are more opportunities for shared experiences from joint classes and groups.
However, some students in the affect major feel uncertain about the departments coming under one.
“I don’t know much about the merge and luckily I got all of my political science credits out of the way last semester, but I have noticed that the class selection for political science is very very small,” said political science senior Karla Quezada.
The new government law and justice chair expects that the change will better prepare students for life after school.
“Our goal is to have students leave our university well-rounded and prepared for their particular career and/or graduate school. Combining these programs and encouraging students to take classes from each program will only enhance their learning experience,” said Long.
Long said her goal is to keep the uniqueness of each program within the department. “This includes implementing cross-listed classes that will appeal to our students, encourage student collaboration between programs, and provide internship opportunities that will further prepare students for life after Roosevelt,” said Long.