This archived article was written by: Benjamin Waldon
Alcatraz and Fisherman’s Wharf were some of the landmarks that the members of the College of Eastern Utah and the Law and Order Society experienced on their four-day trip to San Francisco March 30 – April 2.
On March 30, 43 members of the club departed for Alcatraz Island in San Francisco, Calif. “We chose Alcatraz because of the reputation of the prison housing many of the most notorious prisoners like Al Capone and Machine Gun Kelly as well as being the toughest prison ever established in the United States … It also is the site of the modern American Indian Movement of recent day,” says Law and Order Club adviser Steve McGibbon.
The club decided that it would be better to use a different mode of transportation than what CEU owned, so instead of taking a state bus on a 14-hour drive, (28-hour round trip); they decided that it would be a much better idea to rent a tour bus. The bus had televisions, working bathrooms, air conditioning and heating.
Although CEU decided to give money to the club for their visit to Alcatraz, McGibbon and the club did most of the fund raising by themselves and managed to earn $9,300. “He took pretty good care of us,” stated one law and order student, C.J. McManus.
Fund raising to earn money to support the trip included: cleaning the newly acquired Western Energy Center at CEU and selling movie tickets for the Price Theatres. They also had raffles for a shotgun, and an Ipod.
After departure the students prepared for the long drive with anticipation, and entertainment. The students spent the majority of their bus ride watching videos to pass the hours of getting to and from San Francisco.
The students first arrived at the Sand’s Casino in Reno, Nev., not only for room and board, but also for a security briefing from the security department that is employed by the Sands Casino.
The next day the students arrived at the Holiday Inn at 12:30 p.m. and decided to go to the Fisherman’s Wharf for lunch. Although the seafood was expensive, “there was good seafood on the wharf,” noted Law and Order student Kami Christensen.
The group arrived at their final destination of Alcatraz Island on April 1. The students traveled in a boat to get to the island and arrived with a man giving a briefing of the day’s events. The man recommended the students and other tourists take 30 minutes of their time to watch a video about the history of Alcatraz, and then move on to the audio tour.
Alcatraz, otherwise known as “the rock” for its position located on a small island just off the San Francisco Bay, is a prison that was opened for some of the most infamous criminals to be detained from the mid 1930s to the mid 1960s.
Alcatraz, which is located on a natural park, Bay Area National Park, has many restricted areas, noted McManus. These areas the students had to get a separate tour from the park rangers. The areas they visited were in the depths of the prison and inside each cell.
Although most of the weekend had undesirable weather, a constant downpour, the day at Alcatraz was one of the best the group could have wished for, McGibbons said.
The students took with them not only historical information about the prison, but also how to compare the prison to modern prisons.