– Caleb Godin, staff

Students and professors alike gathered last week to present the best of original research and published material coming out of Laurier Brantford’s criminology program.

The Criminology Student Association, CSA, is open to all students who have declared a criminology major.

The conference, which was run by the CSA and volunteers, included seminars run by professors from the Criminology program, as well as student panel discussions and guest speakers.

One of the executives of the event, Nicole Schott, says that the conference was a success.

“We worked really hard to put together this conference for the CSA community to enjoy, this is the first year it has been held. The attendance has been good, and the audience has been engaged and has been asking the presenters many good questions,” says Schott.

The conference included a variety of speakers, from faculty to students as well as a speaker from the University of Ottawa.

“We had three different undergraduate student panels, four different Laurier professors, and our keynote speaker was Christine Bruckert from the University of Ottawa, and she was very well received,” Schott explains.

The conference aims to promote criminological inquiry in students,” and helps to expose students to subjects they have never heard of before, according to Schott.

The idea of promoting criminological inquiry is one of the main objectives outlined in the CSA’s constitution.

The conference had been planned for months and according to CSA faculty advisor Tony Christensen, the association was dedicated to making it happen.

“Early in the year, there was a proposal to put on a conference, they were advised that it would be a lot of work, but that they could do it. They decided they could do it and immediately started on putting together different speakers.” says Christensen.

Christensen is very adamant that this was the students event.

“This is something that the students did, not the faculty, we were there as guidance only,” Christensen said.

The event’s keynote speaker Christine Bruckert, commended the CSA for the event.

“It was amazing, it was a great event, it was very well organized, the committee did a spectacular job, the presentations were very interesting, and attendance was good, all the panels were very well attended. Most importantly it was a really welcoming atmosphere,” says Bruckert.

Bruckert  also commented on the presentations presented both by students as well as faculty being excellent.

“I was really impressed, with the quality of the presentations both with the undergraduates and the faculty,” says Bruckert.

During her own presentation on the marginalization of sex trade workers, Bruckert says that students were interested and attentive.

“They were there, they were paying attention and they were engaged,” says Bruckert.

Meanwhile, Bruckert wasn’t the only one who was paid high praise during the conference.

Fourth-year criminology student Crystal Weston was honoured with an award for the best essay produced by a student at the conference, which also brought her home a $1,000 prize.

Weston’s essay, “From Victim to Offender: Exploring the Relationship Between Sexual Abuse Victimization and Sexual Offending,” looked at theories as to why some people who are sexually abused go on to abuse others.