The University’s Office of Alumni Affairs announced that Stefan (Amo) Amokwandoh ’19, Sarah Varghese ’19, and Rachel Yee ’19 are the three finalists for the Young Alumni Trustee (YAT) primary election. According to a press release from Class Affairs and Reunions associate director Cathy Phillips, they will move on to the general election to be held from April 30 to May 22.
Thirty seniors ran in the primary election, which took place between Feb. 26 and Mar. 7. As in previous years, the election results were verified and confirmed by an election services company hired to run the YAT election.
The winner of the general election will replace Tumi Akinlawon ’15 — whose term ends on June 30 — and serve until 2023. The three other current YATs are Myesha Jemison ’18, Achille Tenkiang ’17, and Azza Cohen ’16.
YAT members serve for four years, guaranteeing that four members of the Board of Trustees are always recent graduates.
Following the YAT primary elections, Amokwandoh felt “incredibly honoured” to have been voted a finalist, “especially considering the excellent pool of candidates.”
“The position of YAT is one of gravitas, and I hope to be able to best represent and address the needs and affairs of the Princeton community,” Amokwandoh wrote in an email to The Daily Princetonian. “The opportunity to be able to serve the Princeton community is a blessing and incredibly exciting.”
Varghese also explained in an email to the ‘Prince’ that she was deeply humbled “by the opportunity that YAT provides to help in establishing and maintaining this connect … between decisions being made on a university wide scale and student sentiment towards these.”
“There's so much to be learned from the experiences and opinions of students - both positive and negative,” Varghese wrote. “I hope to be able to bring these perspectives and a compassionate listening ear to the position.”
In an email to the ‘Prince,’ Yee expressed her gratitude for the opportunity to “push for real change” through her role as the 2018 Undergraduate Student Government president, and hopes to continue this influence as a YAT.
“Despite recognizing its flaws, I care so much about Princeton and I hope I will be able to continue to work diligently to guide thoughtful decisions that will benefit and improve the Princeton community,” Yee wrote. “I also understand how much hard work goes into fair decision making and hope I can use my unique understanding of this institution to help shape and sustain a more equitable, accessible Princeton.”
The YAT Election is held each year to add a member of the graduating class to the University’s Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees is expected to manage the University’s finances, oversee ongoing construction projects and real estate on campus, and review changes to significant instructional methods, admission policies, and relations with outside institutions and government agencies.
The goal of YAT members of the Board of Trustees is to provide the Board with insights into the lives of current students on campus. According to the University’s website, the YAT position was created in 1969 in order that the Board “would always include four members with recent experience as undergraduates.”
According to rules set by the Office of Alumni Affairs, only seniors may vote in the YAT primary election, but juniors, seniors, and the two most recent graduating classes are eligible to vote in the general election.
The rules further state that although the YAT members are elected by a specific subset of the student body and alumni community, their constituency while serving on the board “is not their electorate, but the University as a whole.”
The winner of the general election will be announced at the Alumni Council Awards Luncheon on Friday, May 31.