Club & Greek
- Category: Volume 86 (Fall 2014 - Spring 2015)
- Published: 03 December 2014
- Written by MICHAEL BATEMAN | STAFF WRITER
Threat Analysis Group (TAG) President Michael Tilton announced new plans to change the club’s dynamic and further integrate the organization within the University community on Wednesday, Nov. 19. He said the club aims to implement these plans during the Spring 2015 semester.
Tilton, a senior homeland security major, along with Founding President Chris Lojek, a University alumnus and former homeland security graduate, developed TAG’s original concept in the Fall 2013 semester, with the concept directed at expanding criminal justice and homeland security education beyond classroom lectures. “It’s been shaping ever since,” Tilton said, “as a way to expose Monmouth students to issues of homeland security that we do not keep up with in the classroom. We don’t learn about everything we can during class time.”
The organization’s early meetings began with weekly oral briefings on current issues related to national and local security with a focus directed towards the criminal justice and homeland security fields. Tilton recalled an early meeting where the members discussed the Westgate Mall Shooting in Kenya that took place in September 2013. The members reviewed the scenario and then developed a crisis management plan for if a similar scenario were to happen at a location in the local area, such as Monmouth Mall.
Currently, TAG hosts online discussions through Facebook and Twitter pages. Club members post articles detailing current events pertaining to global and domestic security issues and encourage discussion from other members and the general public. The most recent discussions feature events such as radical Islamic presence in Turkey and a foiled attempted terrorist plot formed in reaction to the controversial Ferguson decision.
Regarding these discussions, Chis Lembo, a junior homeland security major and TAG member ,said, “Overall getting involved makes you look forward to coming to class. The club and the classroom discussions coincide with each other. I contribute what I learned in class to club discussions and vice-versa.”
Tilton believes that TAG still has more to contribute to the student body to better inform and equip students for crisis management. Plans he has to accomplish this goal include hosting guest speakers, providing chances for students to earn various crisis management certifications, and planning trips off-campus to give students hands-on exposure to global issues related to criminal justice and homeland security.
Tilton said he plans to invite prominent figures from the criminal justice and homeland security fields to visit campus and speak to students about current issues and trends in global and national security. He said this will give students opportunities to gain valuable information and possibly expose them to new career options.
While guest speakers will better inform students, TAG plans to also host seminars for students to earn crisis management certifications as a way to better equip the University community. Since the University currently does not offer opportunities to earn these certifications, TAG plans to host events where students will be able to earn certifications in skills such as CPR, Incident Command Systems, and hazardous material management.
In addition to speakers and certifications, Tilton said he wants to plan trips to visit off-campus events relevant to criminal justice and homeland security. However, Tilton noted that “many of these events occur during the weekdays when students have class and not many of them occur in the University area.” Determined, he added that he and other club members will actively search for event opportunities in the local area.
Putting these plans in motion requires TAG to overcome two immediate challenges: scheduling and interest from the University. Fortunately, the organization has the remainder of the Fall 2014 semester and the upcoming winter break to both work out scheduling and to present their plans and ideas to the proper University personnel for them to come to fruition in Spring 2015.
The TAG advisor could not be reached for comment.
PHOTO TAKEN from facebook.com/threatanalysis