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Chebbi, Johnson, and Ugwonali advance to YAT general election

A panel of three headshots of young women. From right to left: a young Black woman in a cap and gown smiles, a young Black woman smiles while standing in front of a window, and a young woman wearing a headscarf smiles.
The three YAT general election candidates, from left to right: Sydney S. Johnson ’24, Chioma Ugwonali ’24, Aisha Chebbi ’24. 
Courtesy of Johnson, Ugwonali and Chebbi.

In an email to the 27 Young Alumni Trustee (YAT) primary candidates obtained by the Daily Princetonian, the Class of 2024 selected three candidates to continue into the general election: Aisha Chebbi ’24, Sydney S. Johnson ’24, and Chioma Ugwonali ’24.

The Young Alumni Trustee joins the Board of Trustees for a four-year term. The position was established in 1969 to appoint and represent recent undergraduate alumni. The YATs have the same full powers as the rest of the board and take the same oath to “faithfully, impartially and justly perform the duties of the office of trustees.”


The YAT election process has met controversy in the past due to its “no campaigning rule,” which prohibits candidates from issue-based campaigning and organized campaigning. According to the YAT handbook, this is due to the unique way in which the Board of Trustees functions. 

In an interview with the ‘Prince,’ Ugwonali expressed her gratitude for moving forward in the process. 

“I am flattered that my classmates see me as a strong candidate for this position, someone who can contribute positively to the future of this university. And I am incredibly honored really to be running alongside two other wonderful people who have been so active in the community in different respects,” she said.

Ugwonali also stated that she hopes whoever assumes the role of YAT will ensure “that belonging stays at the core of our mission as a University.”

“I definitely think I will be able to bring a perspective like that to the board — fostering belonging, cultivating belonging, and supporting each other,” she added.

Ugwonali works as an RCA in Butler College and serves on the University Mental Health Taskforce, Student Health Advisory Committee, TigerWell Grant Selection Committee, and the Community Care Day Working Group. 


“I am grateful to have learned from and collaborated with many peers, staff, faculty, administrators, and alumni over the past three-and-a-half years in the spirit of cultivating collective care,” she wrote.

“‘In the nation’s service and in the service of humanity’ rings loud in my heart, and I hope that each student feels emboldened to use their passions, their gifts, to do some good in the world,” she added.

In a statement to the ‘Prince,’ Johnson also expressed her gratitude for advancing. “It’s truly an honor to move forward in the process for a position that will have such an expansive impact for current and future undergraduates, young alumni, and the University community,” she wrote. “I am thankful for all the campus experiences that have allowed me to meet and work with students across all class years, and look forward to what’s to come.”

Johnson, who serves as 2024 class president, noted that her time in the position “started it all.”

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“It’s been an invaluable experience in terms of learning how to understand and represent a large body of people, liaise between students and administration, and to recognize areas for growth within my own leadership style,” she wrote.

“It’s taught me how important and special class identity is to the Princeton experience and beyond, and especially how each class has a different character and set of needs,” she added.

Having served as an RCA for New College West, Johnson also wrote that she values all of the smaller communities she helped create on campus. “As I graduate, I’ll remember the time I spent growing alongside my zees, the club volleyball team, fellow class officers, SPO majors, and more.” 

Johnson also founded the Princeton in Hollywood undergraduate branch, which provides resources to students interested in the entertainment industry. Princeton in Hollywood brought Barry Jenkins, director of Moonlight, to campus on April 6. 

In an interview with the ‘Prince,’ Chebbi, an RCA in Yeh College and one of the 2022-23 Muslim Students' Association (MSA) Co-Presidents, described most of her time at Princeton as being centered around “taking communities and student voices, which typically fall along the lines of marginalization, and bringing together different people to foster dialogue around difference … to not just advocate for students but overall change institutional structures to make lasting impacts on student life and student well being.“

She named her time as MSA co-president as an important opportunity for her “to not only bear witness to the ways that the university needs to accommodate make more permanent, inclusive accommodations for cultural religious practice, but also to have these trusted conversations with university administration and then actually vocalize the needs of our students have that materialize into critical change.”

Last year was the first time Muslim students had permanent accommodations for the Islamic religious observance of Ramadan, and MSA ensured that students had pre-dawn meals and post-sunset meals. 

“That … coalescing of student voices, University administration, and the experiences of so many others is something I hope to continue, were I to be the Young Alumni Trustee,” she said.

Chebbi also told the ‘Prince’ that gratitude was the foremost emotion she felt about moving forward in the election process.

“Moving forward along with Chioma and Sydney is honestly a testament to the fact that Princeton is continuously evolving and adapting for the better to include more marginalized and underrepresented voices in its leadership,” she stated.

“I really feel like our class believes in that and I think that's indicative of the fact that the three of us are moving forward. I have so much respect for both of them,” Chebbi added.

The unsuccessful YAT candidates can still serve their class as an Alumni Class Officer. 

“The Class of 2024 will become an official organization of the University after graduation. Officer roles will be elected by your classmates this spring, and while those three moving onto the general YAT ballot are ineligible to run, the rest of you are welcome and encouraged to run for class leadership positions,” the email to the YAT primary candidates stated.

Voting for the general election will open on May 1, 2024. Members of the Class of 2022, 2023, 2024, and 2025 are eligible to vote.

Olivia Sanchez is an associate News editor for the ‘Prince.’ 

Please send any corrections to corrections[at]

This piece has been updated to include comment from Chebbi.