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Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

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What is Criminology actually about?

August 9, 2022


I am a third-year Criminology and Justice student and I learned a lot about the program in my time here so far. There are a lot of misconceptions that I realized a lot of people back in high school and I had about criminology. Like a lot of people, I thought my options for jobs would be pretty limited to the common jobs, like policing, that always come to mind when talking about Criminology and I thought I would only be learning about crime. However, I realized that is not the case at all. Criminology is a very wide program and you learn about a lot more than just crime.

Misconceptions in High School 

Around grade 11 is when I was mulling over the idea of studying Criminology at university. The program overview interested me because I always wanted to learn more about why crimes are committed and things of that nature. However, I wasn’t fully aware of what type of jobs I could pursue after university. A lot of people I talked to kind of only ever mentioned policing and things related to policing. Because of this my mind was kind of set on that, and whenever people would ask me what I wanted to do in the future I would just say policing, also because I didn’t want people to think I had no idea what I was doing. I did a dual credit program with an Introduction to Policing program for a semester at centennial college in grade 11. I quickly realized that the stuff I was learning was interesting but not something I might fully be keen on doing in the future. Policing, I learned needed you to be a lot more authoritative and disciplined, which is something I couldn’t picture myself doing other than maybe being in a buddy cop TV show. Because of all this, I was in a really weird spot; I knew I wanted to do criminology but I didn’t know what I was going to do after my program. 


So obviously I did commit to Criminology, and as soon as I came here to Ontario Tech I realized that my program offers me a lot more than just learning about crime and things of that nature. Along with crime, you’re learning about so many parts of how our world and society functions. For example, when we learn about youth crime, we analyze statistics on what crimes are the most popular, where youth crime occurs the most, and most importantly why it happens. That 'why' is where you start learning about so much more than just the crime committed and in general about the society you live in. When looking at the why you may first look at why these certain crimes are most popular when it comes to youth crime, let’s say shoplifting is one of them. Now you go try to learn the different reasons why shoplifting is one of the more commonly occurring crimes in youth. You’re looking at reasons why this happens, maybe a lot of cases included youth from low-income families, so you might go learn about low-income families and class issues in your society. Maybe there are some cases where a teenager shoplifted because their friends convinced them to, so now you’re looking at why that was enough reason for them to commit a crime and now you’re technically studying social psychology. Maybe you’re looking at a case where a teen stole to feed themselves because they were homeless, now you are learning about youth homelessness in your community, or learning about laws and how this person would get punished and you may even start thinking if that's fair or not and you start pondering about ethics and morality. 

The point I am trying to make is, that when learning about crime and things related to it, like the societal, and psychological things, that happen behind those crimes will teach you a lot about the world you live in and force you to apply and learn other areas of study. Even in just a basic youth crime example, I touched on subjects like low-income family issues, social psychology, homelessness, legal studies, and even philosophy. Criminology is not as narrow as I thought it was, it teaches you a lot more and gives you a broader perspective and understanding of what’s happening around you. So now even though I haven’t fully figured out what I want to do, I am not scared because I am being taught so many things that open up my options for future careers and paths. Criminology is really about the study of crime, however, studying these many crimes leads you down many rabbit holes that include other disciplines, areas of study, insights into your world, and many other things.