When John Aloszka and Nat Costello pictured their last weeks as Student Body President and Vice President, they did not imagine a world of virtual meetings, working from home, and a campus that is almost empty of students.
After spending the afternoon cleaning out their office, Aloszka and Costello sat down on Zoom to discuss the end of their administration and their parting thoughts for the student body.
“It’s just different. I don’t think it’s bad,” Aloszka said of the many changes of the last few weeks. “It’s not what we expected. I think the hardest part is not being able to say bye to students but we’ll be back.”
Costello talked about the plans they originally had to say goodbye to students, including breakfast at Market Days, which they titled “Thank You Very Brunch.” Instead, they decided to say goodbye via a dinner on Instagram Live with the incoming administration.
When asked about any initiatives that didn’t get completed due to the COVID-19 changes, the duo reflected that their Involvement Fair was unable to happen. This event, which was coordinated through the new Student Involvement Center, would have connected students to the new center and to all of the various campus clubs and organizations.
This didn’t discourage them, though, as Costello commented, “As much as I would love to have the first one so we can kind of teach them (the new administration) what we learned from the first one… all it means is it’s going to be a lot bigger during the fall.”
While this is also the end of Aloszka’s undergraduate career, as he is graduating this semester, Costello will be around for another year at UNF before graduating in Spring 2021. She plans to stay involved in Student Government in another capacity.
Costello mentioned that she considered taking her senior year off from Student Government, but ultimately decided to stay involved, commenting, “Sitting around while I’m watching everything else happen is not a part I could ever do.”
The incoming President, Ally Schnieder, has worked closely with the two over the past year as their Chief of Staff. When asked if they had any advice for the new administration, the duo shared what they had learned over the past year in office.
“Adapt. You have to be very flexible. The mantra has been it’s not about the journey, it’s about the destination,” Aloszka advised. “Look at your end goals. It doesn’t matter how you get there 100%, as long as you get there. The way you do it can change all the time.”
Costello offered advice as well. “There are some leaderships that go through the whole year and say, “we didn’t have anyone mad at us ever.’ Well that means you’re not doing something that’s pushing the boundaries at the end of the day,” she said.
The two also had some parting words for the student body as they prepared for the transition.
“Thank you,” Aloszka said. “We’ve been very well supported throughout the year.”
“I hope we did a good job,” he continued. “I hope we made everyone proud, and I hope that what we have done will have lasting impacts far beyond us.”
“Thank you for supporting us,” Costello said.
Ally Schneider and Kayla Dougherty will take over the offices of President and Vice President during a Senate meeting on Friday, April 3.
For more information or news tips, or if you see an error in this story or have any compliments or concerns, contact [email protected]