Cru teams defeat state competition
By Jeremy Frazier
While four students stood over a “dead body” in College Station, four others were displaying their craft of public speaking.
The university’s Cru-Justice team won first place in the inaugural Crime Scene Interpretation Competition on Sept. 30.
Secretary for the conference and UMHB criminal justice Professor Christine Nix explained the purpose of the contest.
“It allows students to not only show what they learned academically but also integrated what they’ve learned and transferred into something other than writing skills.”
Each team consisted of four members with a different task of working a “crime scene.” The scene was set up on a stage with a mannequin on the floor and a turned-over kitchen set. In the competition, each school had 30 minutes to interpret a mock scene.
Senior criminal justice major Tommy Sirkis was the sketch artist for the UMHB team.
“The competition was a great way to apply the information that is taught inside the classroom to possible real life experiences,” Sirkis said.
Senior psychology major Lauren Rister handled the crime scene visitor’s log. She described how she felt when she learned they had won.
“I was so excited I couldn’t believe all the competition. We represent the Southwestern Association of Criminal Justice,” she said. “The best part about being on the team is the learning experience and the bonding moment we had with each other on the ride there and back,” Rister said.
The keyword for Cru-justice was unity. Senior criminal justice major Russell Davis explained the reason the team operated smoothly.
“What made us a great team is that each person got to do what they wanted to do, and they enjoyed it.”
Meanwhile in Kingwood, speech Professor Kathy Owens took her team to Lone Star College for a competition.
Owens said the speech contests are not like athletic ones in terms of team size.
“We compete against UT-Austin’s 25 member team at every tournament.”
Freshman mass communication/journalism major Jasmine Simmons placed seventh in dramatic interpretation.
She praised her competitors, “It was wonderful seeing all the talented interpreters I was able to compete with.”
Freshman mass communication/journalism major Lindsey Holderby is using the loss as a learning experience.
“You see all the different competitions and decide which ones you might want to do next tournament,” she said.
Win or lose, both professors believe that building relationships and coming together as a team is a very important element.
After many years of attending conferences, Nix said, “This is the most I’ve enjoyed a conference.”