Minutes -Friday, September 17, 2004

The first organizing meeting of the NIU-ACA student organization was
held at 1 pm in DuSable 448. Six members were present, in addition to
six who indicated participation but were unable to attend. 

A. Three initial points were made:

1. The "NIU-ACA" name was TENTATIVE and is being used until we find a
better name or agree on this one

2. Although initially organized around corrections, the goal is to 
include ALL elements of criminal justice

3. It was emphasized that the scope of ACA (and thus a student chapter)
is broad, and includes jails, probation/parole, education, therapy and
counselling, domestic violence and victimization issues, substance abuse
and intervention programs, faith-based organizations, issues of social
justice and social inequality, restorative justice, and other interests 
that address crime.

B. The following major items were addressed:

1. The American Correctional Association mission and goals were identified. 

2. The general procedure for recognition was described:
   a) Create bylaws, elect officers
   b) Petition to NIU student association for recognition and present
      it for formal approval
   c) If/when approved, petition to ACA for recognition

3. Possible activities:
   a) Guest speakers
   b) Organizing regional student conferences
   c) Specialized prison tours as ACA-recognized group
   d) Participation in ACA conferences
   e) Exploration of career opportunies
   f) Outreach (attending soci/CJ conferences; t-shirts; homepage;
      discussion listserv; newsletter; recruitment; involvement in
      Illinois Correctional Association as joint members
   g) Outreach: Communicating with other state or regional student
   h) Participate with SAC (Sociology Advisory Committe) in career nights
   i) Student paper competitions for annual brunch awards

4. Esmeralda Garcia and Bob Polacheck will be working on the bylaws for
the next week or two and hopefully have something completed by Oct 1

5. Jim Thomas is the temporary faculty advisor (pending vote of the
the organization, once bylaws are approved)

6. The group voted to elect officers AFTER the bylaws are written

7. It was stressed that, because some potential members can't always
meet in person, we will make sure that electronic participation is
active so that nobody who is interested will be excluded if they cannot
make meetings but can participate in other ways

Any questions, drop me a note. Jim Thomas - jthomas@math.niu.edu
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