On December 19, students from ASEZ at Lehman College hosted a Crime Prevention Forum on campus. The event was in line with their Reduce Crime Together campaign. The discussion was about the role that college students can play in preventing crime.
Speakers included Assemblymember Karines Reyes of the 87th District; Lehman College Associate Professor Juan J. DelaCruz, Ph.D.; Assistant Director of Campus Life Denny Santos; Deputy of Public Safety Gregory Nigri and Sgt. Samuel Gonzalez.
Throughout 2019, ASEZ at Lehman College hosted various volunteer services. They invited their peers to engage them to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. The cleanups help bring attention to reducing crime by caring for the community. So, the forum opened this discussion to a broader network, allowing community leaders to present their ideas.
Guest Speakers Share Their Expertise on How Students Can Make an Impact
Professor Juan J. DelaCruz said, “Life after prison remains a great challenge. Society as a whole and the formerly incarcerated individual need to work together to reduce or eliminate the chance of reentry. It’s important to inform the community of programs that are aimed at crime prevention. It makes people aware of their options, because they work. And they let people know the possibilities of crime and allow people to avoid crime before it happens.”
Assemblymember Reyes mentioned the volunteer efforts ASEZ carried out in her district. She highlighted the students’ commitment to transforming the community. In addition, she even presented ASEZ with a proclamation for their effort in the area. “That particular area, nobody takes ownership for it. Constituents have complained to me about it since it had become a dumping site. But when ASEZ showed up, they showed up with all the equipment, and over 120 volunteers. We did in an afternoon what the City of New York couldn’t do. I think it’s a testament to the value of volunteerism and the value of commitment. There was no way I would have been able to do what they did. Quality of life is a big issue. And they helped me address that in ways that I haven’t been able to through normal bureaucracies of government.”
Denny Santos commented on ASEZ’s constant and powerful impact over the course of a year. He said, “Not only are they very prepared, they are excellent at welcoming new university students. They’re truly great ambassadors for what Lehman stands for, and what Lehman is all about. ASEZ plays an important part in helping students really find their place. I’m very hopeful and very encouraged by what I see you all have accomplished.”
Reducing Crime Together Through Volunteer Service
In the end, each speaker signed an MOU (memorandum of understanding), to show their support for ASEZ and its initiatives. Going forward, ASEZ students hope to continue to make a difference within their community. “If the efforts of young adults who care about their neighbors and society can act as one, we could maintain sustainable happiness and peace,” said Kimberly White from ASEZ. “Sustainable development is impossible without peace. So, the Church of God’s university students are focused on reducing crime and violence through small acts such as cleaning the parks and streets, and hosting forums.”
To see more events from ASEZ, visit our Activities page!