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Coccia, Joyce reflect on their time in office, bid farewell

| Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Kelly Konya | The Observer
Studeny Government Courtesy of Brian Lach[/Courtesy of Brian Lach] As their term in office comes to an end Tuesday, student body president Alex Coccia and vice president Nancy Joyce said they only wish they had more time.

Although his term as president is over, Coccia said he believes incoming student body president and vice president Lauren Vidal and Matt Devine will pick up right where his administration left off.

“We just really wish he had more time to continue working on things, but Lauren and Matt have been very gracious in looking at some of the projects that we have still been developing and that they’ll want to continue,” Coccia said.

Joyce said she felt her and Coccia’s administration started important initiatives that will continue after they leave office.

“I think the only regret would be that we really can’t see some of [our projects] all the way through,” she said. “I think we’ve laid the groundwork and have set it up for next year.”

Coccia said one such issue he wanted to progress more is medical amnesty for students, particularly with regard to alcohol consumption.

“I think issue-wise … I wish we could have pushed [the discussion on medical amnesty] a little bit further, but we are happy to see where the conversation has progressed,” he said.

“Where we’re coming from as representatives of the student body is that our first priority …   is student safety and students getting the medical attention that they need if they so need it.

Joyce said in a more general sense, she felt her and Coccia’s administration made student government more accessible and pertinent to student life.

This past year student government achieved smaller, more concrete goals, Coccia said, but they also confronted problems more directly concerning all students, most notably the issue of sexual violence.

“There’s obviously the tangible successes like the coffee cart in DeBartolo,” he said. “I think we also realize that student government could address larger student life issues than just something like the coffee cart.

Coccia said he is proud to have spearheaded the One is Too Many campaign, a student government initiative aimed at sexual assault prevention and healing,  which mobilized the student body and brought the issue to the forefront of student discussion.

“I think the One is Too Many Campaign was important because … it touched, very directly, at least over 3,000 people,” he said. “We recognize that the pledge itself is not enough, but our hope was that it would raise the level of awareness and dialogue about the issue of sexual violence and about what our role in prevention is.”

Both Coccia and Joyce said they will live and work in Washington, D.C. following graduation, Coccia working with either a non-profit organization or government agency through the Truman Scholarship, and Joyce with defense consulting firm Avascent Group.

Joyce said she wanted to extend her personal thanks to the student body for their engagement over the past year.

“It’s really been a pleasure,” she said. “I have enjoyed this experience and the opportunity to represent some of the best and the brightest in the country.”

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Jack is a 2016 graduate of Notre Dame, and The Observer's former managing editor. He is currently spending a year living and working for the University in Ireland, and writing columns to keep him busy. For more random thoughts and plenty of news links, follow Jack on Twitter @RooneyReports.

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