Mariana Bravo ’24, Aisha Chebbi ’24, Elliott Hyon ’24, Sydney Johnson ’24, and Ive Jones ’24 will be the Class of 2024’s representatives on the Undergraduate Student Government Class Council. These five candidates received the most votes out of the 28 first-years who ran, according to an email sent on Friday, Oct. 2, with the results of the class-wide election.
Bravo, a prospective School of Public and International Affairs concentrator from Miami, Fla., said that the COVID-19 pandemic played a part in her decision to run for Class Council.
“It quickly became clear that most of us were struggling with the same things: making connections virtually, Zoom fatigue, and workload management seemed to be prevailing attributes of most experiences,” Bravo said.
Bravo hopes to find ways to help members of the Class of 2024 adapt to the “unprecedented mold of 2020.”
Chebbi, a native of Miami, Fla., and a prospective anthropology concentrator, emphasized that she hopes to listen to the concerns of all members of the Class of 2024 as a member of Class Council.
“I’m not running to be your voice; I’m running to amplify it,” she said.
She remarked that she wanted members of the Class of 2024 to know that she is always available to them.
Hyon was senior class president at his high school in Los Angeles, Calif. He was motivated to run for Council so that he would be able to help the Class of 2024 have both an enjoyable and equitable University experience. “I really wanted to be on Class Council so I could plan social events and make sure to represent everyone fairly,” Hyon said.
He plans on implementing themed study breaks to enhance students’ time spent relaxing as well as improving class gear through organizing a design contest. He also discussed organizing a virtual yearbook in an attempt to bring the Class of 2024 closer by documenting their unique first year at college.
Johnson, a native of Piscataway, N.J., similarly participated in class council in high school and described how her love of meeting new people and her desire to make the Class of 2024 feel closer to each other during a time of social distancing prompted her to run for Class Council.
“I’ve always been a huge people person. I love to meet people,” Johnson said. “I really want to bring us together in a time that serves to bring us apart,” she added.
She said that she hopes to spend her time as a member of Class Council “bringing the people together and dripping us out,” a reference to her platform’s call for virtual gatherings and improved gear.
Jones, a native of Apex, N.C., said in a thank-you note posted on her Instagram page that she promised to “ensure a quality and equitable first year council” now that she has been elected. Her campaign website highlights the four values she believes make Princeton such an amazing university: community, excellence, action, and service.
Jones was unavailable for comment for this story by the time of publication.
This year, every candidate had to adjust to a novel method of campaigning. While social media has often been used in campaigns for Class Council, the nature of this year’s election made candidates focus on social media like never before.
“Virtual campaigning was really difficult initially because the only way to reach out to people was through social media and … I get anxious about sending DMs to people,” Hyon said.
Hyon added that he enjoyed parts of the virtual campaigning process, saying “everyone was really nice. They would respond back with ideas that they had or ask me questions about my platform or even just like the message.”
Other candidates similarly found ways to take advantage of the new opportunities afforded to them by a fully virtual campaign. Johnson said that the virtual nature of the campaign made certain aspects easier, as it allowed her to post infographics on her Instagram story and have her friends share them.
Voters in the Class of 2024 also had to adjust to the new format, having to cast votes without ever meeting any of the candidates in person.
“I thought it was kind of weird voting for people we didn’t know very well,” said Garner Thompson ’24. “I think everyone made the most of it and it looks like everything worked out nicely.”
This year’s election saw a turnout rate of 66 percent, with 763 members of the Class of 2024 casting a vote, a nine percent increase from the 701 votes cast by the then-first-year Class of 2023 in the spring 2019 Class Government elections.