Jung and Rezner sit down with the Rover
Student Body President Daniel Jung and Vice President Aidan Rezner took office on Saturday, April 1, relieving the Lee-Stitt administration. The pair of sophomores won the student government elections on February 9 with just over 50% of total votes, a margin of 22 percentage points over the second-place campaign of Derrick Williams and Hunter Brooke and 28 points above Pablo Oropeza and Griffin McAndrew.
The duo has been hard at work preparing to assume office. Jung emphasized how smoothly the transition has gone. “[Lee-Stitt] have been incredible!—super open, always willing to give us resources, help set up meetings—they really have been a guiding and mentoring force in this transition. We’re really excited to implement and continue some of the stuff that they’ve been doing. But we also want to go our own way, and we want to do things that we’re passionate about.”
One of the things the new administration will be continuing is the recently resurrected Student Life Council. Jung is dedicated to continuing the work of the previous administration in that regard: “We think it’s a great way to establish an open line of communication between the administration and the students themselves.
Both Jung and Rezner are sophomores, taking office less than two years after arriving on campus. They believe that their administration will bring new ideas to student government: “We were in this spot where we felt like we had been in student government for a year in the communications department … and we had some ideas on how we could really make the university better, and basically we took the approach of ‘Why not us?’
“Ultimately I think that we will be able to bring a fresh perspective,” said Rezner. Jung, however, pointed out that they are not necessarily trying to have an overly young administration, saying, “We really tried in our director position to make sure that all grade levels are represented. And I think that’s going to bring in a lot of different perspectives that are going to be great for our cabinet.”
One notable aspect of the recent election was the low turn-out: Only 30% of students voted this year, down from just shy of 60% last year. Jung thinks that transparency is key to fixing the issue. “I think one thing that we want to continue from this previous administration is transparency. We felt that the Patrick-Sophie-Nicole administration did a very good job at trying to establish an open line of communication between student government and students. And so enabling students to see what we’re doing is going to be really important for us.”
Rezner added to Jung’s comments about increasing engagement, focusing specifically on student feedback: “One thing that we want to put out is a feedback form where students can submit their ideas to us for events—where they can submit things that they think work well or things that they think could be improved on.” He also pointed out their experience working with the broader student population in the communication department. “You know, engagement in student government is hard every year. And I think [the Lee-Stitt] administration did a really great job of trying to up that. I know me and Daniel have been a part of a lot of those efforts in the communications department with the StuGov Scoop videos.”
In an election-day message to the Notre Dame Right to Life GroupMe, Jung described himself and Rezner as “unapologetically pro-life.” Jung has plans in that regard: “[Rezner] and I are both Catholics, and we intend to continue the Catholic mission of the university. One big thing that we want to do is work with pregnancy resources that are on campus.” Rezner reiterated their commitment to the religious mission of the university: “We think [Catholicism] is what makes this university great. And as Dan said, promoting crisis pregnancy resources is really important, and it’s something that will definitely continue in the new administration.”
Jung and Rezner also campaigned on changing the way that Title IX is enforced. They want to continue accommodations across academic years, so that students who need special accommodations to deal with, say, a stalker, are not forced to go through that process all over again each fall. This week in particular, Student Government is partnering with the Gender Relations Council to host a number of events aimed at combatting sexual violence on campus.
Will Grannis is a sophomore honors mathematics and theology major from Chevy Chase, MD. When he’s not busy with math homework, lifeguarding at 5 AM, or arguing with his friends about trivialities, he’ll respond to emails at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Picture Credit: Instagram @danrez23
Subscribe to the Irish Rover here
Donate to the Irish Rover here