Students react to evaluation

By Anne Baker

Following the university’s recent announcement that officials will consider restructuring the Colleges of Arts and Sciences and Criminal Justice, some criminal justice students and alumni have begun to speak out against the possibility of such changes, while others involved in the college have remained neutral on the matter.

Some students said a major point of contention has been the possibility of moving the College of Criminal Justice into another college, possibly a reformed version of the College of Arts and Sciences.

‘The initial reaction from the students I’ve talked to is that they don’t want [a] merger,’ said Liana Cools, president of the College of Criminal Justice Student Advisory Council. ‘We love the college the way it is.’

University administrators announced via e-mail to faculty that they would create a 13-member committee to examine the pros and cons of restructuring the two colleges. Among the options, the e-mail stated, is splitting the College of Arts and Sciences into two or three schools and placing the College of Criminal Justice within one of the newly formed colleges.

Cools said she was undecided as to her position on the change because the details of the possible reorganization have yet to be determined. She said the advisory council will be involved no matter what position they take.

Enzo Yaksic, a 2005 alumnus of the College of Criminal Justice, founded the Facebook group Prevent the Dissolution of Northeastern’s College of Criminal Justice to ‘gather some of the alumni so their voice could be represented because we’re the people who have had the education and [are] putting it to use,’ he said.

Yaksic said he was particularly disappointed after he first learned that the committee does not have an alumni representative, and was opposed to the idea of changing the colleges.

‘I went to Northeastern for the name of the criminal justice school. It’s nationally known,’ he said. ‘I fear that prospective students won’t even hear about it [as] the College of Criminal Justice. It will just be another major.’ As of press time, the group had 252 members, and the wall contained postings from students urging their peers to write letters to the Northeastern Board of Directors opposing the change.

Yet not all alumni oppose the possible restructure. Brookline Chief of Police Daniel O’Leary graduated from the college in 1977. O’Leary said he didn’t have a strong feeling on the change, but wouldn’t necessarily be against it.

‘As long as the education itself and the professors themselves are not negatively impacted ‘hellip; I don’t have a problem with it,’ he said.

Provost Stephen Director said in an interview with The News last week that it was important for the university to make sure it was organized correctly and that is the ultimate purpose of the committee.

‘You don’t want to make change for change’s sake,’ he said. ‘But you want to be open to change.’

Criminal Justice Professor James Alan Fox said he saw advantages and drawbacks to changing the College of Criminal Justice, but that it is up to the committee to decide.

‘I’ve been in the college for 31 years and there’s certainly an attachment for the College of Criminal Justice being a freestanding college, and there are advantages to that in terms of visibility and flexibility,’ he said.

Middler Rachel Feinstein, a student representative on the college’s Undergraduate Council, said she is opposed to the possibility of putting the college within another because it would make the criminal justice school ‘less unique.’

‘Personally, I think it’s probably one of the worst decisions the university could make,’ Feinstein said. ‘People come to Northeastern to be part of the College of Criminal Justice.’ ‘

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