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Monday, May 27, 2024
The Observer

Jung-Rezner administration fulfills dining promise, prepares for spring

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Daniel Jung (left) and Aidan Rezner (right) both worked for the 2022-2023 executive cabinet as communications subdirectors.


Notre Dame student government executives Daniel Jung, Aidan Rezner, Collette Doyle and their cabinet assumed office on April 1, 2023. Six months after, the trio spoke to The Observer about their accomplishments so far. The executives said they will continue to lean on their leadership philosophy, "listen, grow and flourish," in the spring semester.

Student body vice president Rezner said a surprising outcome was learning how to efficiently plan the furthering of the administration’s goals.

“When we took the summer to be able to stay here for a month, as well on-campus, to do some of that planning, that really helped facilitate a lot of our success this year,” Rezner said.

Student government chief of staff Doyle said the executive leadership’s directors are another surprising element of success.

“We have such exceptional, talented 25 directors who are really exceptional in getting these initiatives and programs done,” Doyle said. “It’s really been fruitful to see that.”

Student body president Jung said the University's administration has been an integral part of student government’s achievements.

“They are so fundamental to what we do and we try to walk hand in hand with them in a lot of our events and initiatives,” Jung said. “I have been so pleased with truly the extent to which the [University's] administration will go to great lengths to try to better the student experience.”

Campus Dining

During his campaign last spring, Jung said students deserve “fresh, nutritious fruit at least once a week.”

At the beginning of its administration, the executive board worked with campus dining executive director Luigi Alberganti and student dining director Reggie Kalili.

“We told them about this idea — how it’s really important that students are getting antioxidant-rich berries and things of that nature,” Jung said. “And now we have fresh fruit in the grab-n-go every Friday, which has been a really incredible experience.”

Rezner added that the administration advocated for more nutritious, fulfilling food in North Dining Hall, South Dining Hall and the grab-n-go at each.

International Student Resources

Doyle said that the department of international engagement was implemented this year by the executive board to meet the needs of the growing international student population

“Our director Bernice Antoine has been … establishing a comprehensive, robust resource guide for international students and her department members are wrapping up the work,” she said.

Doyle said she hopes the finalized guide will be distributed to international students with the collaboration of Notre Dame International.

Accessibility, Health and Wellness

Jung said the executive board is looking to aid students with disabilities in accessing transportation to their classes during the winter months.

“We’ve been working with transportation, buildings and grounds [and] with campus safety on figuring out what a possible solution may be,” he said.

Jung also said his administration is exploring the possibility of allowing students with a severe injury, bereavement or some other "great distress” to become part-time students. Part-time students are classified as those with fewer than 12 credits.

Collaboration with the Office of the President

Rezner said the Notre Dame Forum is a major collaboration between the Office of the President and the executive board.

“The forum has been a collaboration with us in terms of our administration with national affairs and political engagement,” Rezner said. “We had a voter registration drive. People registered to vote … We had Justice Elena Kagan come in — and also the senators [Chris Coons and Todd Young].”

Rezner said it is the “positive relationships” that enhance students’ experiences within these specific projects.

Doyle said Walk the Walk Week is another huge collaboration with the Office of the President. She added that it will begin on Jan. 16 — the first day of classes for the 2024 spring semester.

As part of Walk the Walk Week, Rezner said on Thursday there will be a Black excellence dinner with a featured speaker — something that is only possible in collaboration with the Office of the President. Doyle said there will be a service project on the Saturday of Walk the Walk Week.

Service

Jung said the executive board is organizing Back the Bend, an annual day of service for Notre Dame students, for late March.

“It’s just been really uplifting and heartwarming to see so many students who have such a desire and a heart for service,” he said. “So many students come and help … build up that relationship with the South Bend community. It’s really rewarding for us to see that.”

Looking onwards, the administration noted its commitment to maintaining strong student outreach. To Doyle, it is crucial to keep contacting the student body.

“At the heart of it, the students are who we serve, and [we must make] sure that we’re listening to their voices — that we’re communicating with them," Doyle said.

Rezner said that listening to student feedback is key to making sure every single person in the campus community can ultimately flourish.

“In everything that we do, we try to ask ourselves, 'Are we bettering the student experience of everyone at Notre Dame?'" Jung said.