Over 100 students majoring in a variety of subjects attended the first two meetings of the year hosted by the Chanticleer Intelligence Brief. Nearly 70 came on Wednesday, August 31, in room 300 of the Coastal Science Center, to attend CIB’s inaugural meeting for the 2016-2017 academic year. Another 50 returned for the group’s second meeting on September 7 at the same location. These were by far the largest gatherings of CIB members and supporters in the history of the group, which has now grown beyond all expectations.
Newcomers were welcomed on August 31 by the CIB’s Executive Team, with members leading discussions in small groups, as students ranging from seniors to freshmen got to know each other for the first time. CIB Director Blake Gutberlet called the meeting to order and spoke briefly about the history of the CIB from its humble beginnings in a small conference room of the Kimbel Library in early 2015, to its present status as one of the preeminent student organizations at Coastal Carolina University. After introducing the five other members of the CIB Executive Team, Blake introduced the organization’s faculty mentor, Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis, who spoke about the connection between the CIB club and the one-credit “Applied Intelligence Analysis” class that is offered every semester at CCU. Dr. Fitsanakis explained that CIB members can join the class if they have been members of the CIB student club for a semester and have attended 75% of the club’s meetings during that time. The meeting ended at the conclusion of the now-legendary CIB Weekly Quiz, with the participation of 10 teams. It was narrowly won by the “Quizzers”, who answered 8 out of 10 questions correctly.
The second meeting of the CIB featured a well-received talk by Victoria James, the CIB’s Director of Communications, who shared her personal journey as a member of the club. Victoria recounted her initial doubts about joining a demanding club such as the CIB, and described how, week after week, she became a true fan of the CIB effort. She told over 50 students who packed room 300 of the Coastal Science Center that she now has her own area of research, which focuses on nuclear proliferation and nuclear security with an emphasis on non-state militant groups, and is looking forward to delving into this critical subject as a CIB analyst.
Following Victoria’s presentation, those present compiled an extensive list of current critical security issues for every region of the world. The list served as a guide for CIB members who were then asked to join individual tables headed by regional CIB experts. Six teams were formed, comprising of the Americas, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, cyber security, and Europe. Each student wrote down his or her preferred area or topic of expertise. At our next meeting, everyone will be given a analytical question that will guide their research this semester. We look forward to next week!