February Meeting Minutes

Lawrence Committee Meeting February 14th, 2017

  • Golf course issue
    • In response to resident complaints, the committee has written a letter to be sent to the Springdale Golf Course notifying them of the issue of stray golf balls entering the apartment complex.
    • Sam will send a physical copy of letter and Katja will email the letter as well.

Events Planning:

  • Bake off
  • The second social event of the semester will be a bake off held in April.
  • There may be different categories, depending on how many people sign up. One idea is a kids baking category.
  • Residents will be notified about two weeks before the event to sign up
  • Oscar awards show screening
    • The first social event of the semester will be an Oscar awards show screening on Sunday, February 26.
    • The event will feature popcorn, candy, snacks, and drinks. Possibly we will provide scorecards for people to guess winners within each category and give out prizes for correct guesses.
    • Event will be advertised at least a week in advance.

Yoga class:

  • The committee has received funds from the Graduate School to host spring yoga classes. The classes are planned to begin indoors after Spring Break and then to move outdoors when the weather is nice enough.
  • We need to confirm instructor availability
    • Send instructor email regarding dates/times.


  • The garden sign ups for next spring’s garden season will begin sometime in March. Sam will put up posters re: sign up for gardening.

Lakeside/Lawrence Shuttle:

  • Recent change to bus schedule where after 5:30pm, the bus runs only every half hour instead of every 15 minutes
  • Some residents have complained that the buses and very crowded because of this.
  • The committee will bring this issue to the attention of appropriate parties.

Excessive doorbell ringing Building 10:

  • Some residents have reported that unknown individuals are repeatedly ringing doorbells to request entrance to Building 10. It is a safety concern if residents are buzzing in unknown individuals.
  • It is likely that these individuals are trying to access the laundry rooms, though Laundry is only for residents of Lawrence Apartments (who all have keys).
  • The committee will post signs reminding residents of buildings with laundry rooms to please exercise their best judgment when buzzing people into the apartment.

Sustainable energy provider:

  • A resident asked if the Lawrence website could be updated with information about using sustainable energy providers in addition to PSE&G. Housing has read the proposed text but raised some issues about the list of sustainable providers provided by the student.
  • The committee is still working to finalize the text for the website.

January Meeting Minutes

Yoga class at Lawrence

  • Application for Yoga to be written
    • Proposal letter to be submitted
  • Class being held inside …outside on nice days?
    • Post to website regarding weather updates for outdoor classes?
  • How to choose who gets classes?
    • Poll to see how many people are interested in yoga first
    • Then give people choices of which dates they would like to attend. If 50 people sign up for yoga and there are 10 classes (with 10 available slots) then each yoga participant could sign up for 2 classes.

Buildings with heating issues

  • Forwarded info to facilities for further information on solution
  • Windows issues
    • Drafty window allowing cold air into apt.

Lawrence apartment photos/update

  • Have photos of old Lawrence buildings as well
  • Ask housing to put photos up of different types of apartments available for students on their website
    • As of right now, no photos of interior of units

Golf Course letter

  • Concerns about golf balls being hit close to playground, and also buildings windows broken, etc.
  • Write letter to golf course
    • A letter has been drafted, which committee members will comment on. Chris Warkala will also review the letter.
    • Testimonial from residents who have been affected by this issue

Social Events

  • Emails about dates, ideas, etc.
  • Funding?
    • Can always ask for more funding from GSG for more events if need be
  • Suggestions:
    • Garden doughnut days
      • Morning doughnuts on Saturday for gardeners and residents
      • Sign for Lawrence gardens area
      • Farmers market for gardeners?

December Meeting Minutes


  • Each candidate presented a statement of up to 90 seconds in length
  • Voting was conducted by secret ballot


  • President: Sarah James
  • Vice President: Burcin Cakir
  • Secretary: Katya Hyvarinen
  • Social Chair: Emilce Santana
  • Webmaster: Julia Wittes
  • Garden Coordinator: Sam Richter
  • GSG Rep: Xiaoyu Tang

Chris Warkala from Housing and Real Estate Services

  • New move-out policy
    • Currently, if one resident of a multi-room apartment moves out, their room is not repainted and cleaned before a new resident moves in.
      • Problem: The last resident to leave a multi-room apartment gets caught with all of the charges for any damage to the apartment by any resident.
    • Starting next semester, if one resident leaves, there will be an inspection and cleaning before the new resident arrives. Also, any resident moving in to a unit will get a room condition form.
    • Question: sometimes the new resident needs to move in on a particular date and can’t be flexible (ie. previous lease ending at the same time as the new one begins.) Can you work with those students so they won’t have a gap in their housing due to the inspection / cleaning process?
      • A: Yes
    • Water quality testing at Lawrence
      • All tests were okay, with any contaminants below the regulatory levels set by the EPA.
      • The test results in full will be posted to the EHS website by the end of the year.
    • Installation of lights along Alexander Road
      • 16 lights are being installed by the University along Alexander Road between Lawrence Drive and Faculty Road. They should be installed by the end of January.
    • Raining golf balls in Lawrence from Springdale golf course
      • Chris advises that the committee compose a letter to the golf course about the problem and he can pass it along.
    • Renewable energy sources
      • A Lawrence resident reports that he was able to switch from PSE&G power to a Green energy provider.

November 2016 Meeting Minutes

In attendance:

  • Matt King
  • Xiaoyu Tang
  • Anna Mostafavi
  • Emilce Santana
  • Joey Vella
  • Sarah James
  • Sam Richter
  • Olivia Martel
  • Michael Howard
  • Katja Hyvarinen
  • Donghun Lee
  • Renato Pagliara
  • Julia Wittes

Lawrence Committee Election:

  • December 13, our next meeting.
  • Need an election committee of people who are not running or related to people who are running. We are still in need of at least one more person.
  • Currently we have Dominic and Joey
  • Olivia: Maybe we can write to GSG and see if one of their members will serve.


Alexander Road lighting upgrade

  • Will happen this semester – Olivia will let us know if there is any more news


Update on car part theft

  • Our contact at Public Safety says there are no additional thefts since the last report
  • Some other campuses in the area also had thefts
  • Public Safety believes that the parties involved have been apprehended


Planning for Nov 10 game night

  • Lawrence 14 common room; 7-9 pm
  • Joey will email Burcin to discuss how much to budget
  • A number of people at the meeting have games that they have offered to bring
  • Hot cocoa, cookies, chips – cap of $150
  • DBar may be able to lend us some games

We also need to discuss planning another event – has to happen by January.

Packages going missing

  • Several students have contacted the committee about packages that have gone missing. The Lawrence Committee’s policy is to not email residents about individual missing packages except under special circumstances.
  • Is there a place where students can send important or very expensive items other than to their Lawrence addresses?
    • Julia: We are not permitted to send personal items to our labs in my department (Molecular Biology)
    • Packages can be sent to E-Quad
    • Would it be possible for packages to be sent to the campus mailroom? This has been brought up before but the request was denied as the campus mailroom is already at capacity. The Porter’s lodge also is at capacity.
      • However, Olivia will look into it.

Lawrence Listservs:

  • Julia will include instructions on subscribing spouses/partners to listservs in the next email.



October 2016 Meeting Minutes

In attendance

  • Ana Mostafavi
  • Sam Richter
  • Emilce Santana
  • Olivia Martel
  • Joey Vella
  • Julia Wittes
  • Sarah James

Car part theft

  • According to Public Safety, three catalytic converters were stolen from cars within the span of a week this month at Lawrence. We believe that the cars affected were Hondas and perhaps an Acura.
  • Security – what can be done?
    • Olivia will ask Public Safety if they will consider increasing patrols at Lawrence.
  • The University cannot cover the cost of the repair but the Grad School may be able to provide a loan to Graduate Students who are affected by this kind of theft.

Fall Social Event

  • Joey will check to see how many responses we have to our poll. We will go with the two most popular options.
  • We will decide by email on the date and begin planning.

Funding application to the Graduate School for spring programming

  • Tabled until next committee is elected

Potential purchase of carpet cleaning machine

  • A resident requested that the Lawrence committee purchase a carpet cleaning machine.
  • In the past, we had some vacuums, but it wasn’t clear where they would be kept, who would keep them, mind them, and repair them.
  • Carpet cleaners are very expensive and large; we don’t know where to store it and how we could repair it. It doesn’t seem feasible to us.
  • We do know a Lawrence resident who has a carpet shampooing attachment for his vacuum – we could perhaps put interested residents in touch.
  • Would Facilities be able to clean carpets for a fee? Olivia will ask them.


  • Held at our December meeting each year
  • We must notify the community at least one month prior to the election
  • Need an election committee of 3 Lawrence residents who will not be running in the election; they will manage the logistics of the election
    • Joey can be on the committee but we need to find two other residents.
  • If we can’t find anyone, we will advertise by email. We believe that serving on the election committee is maybe a 5-hour commitment tops, spread out over 6 weeks.


  • Our old website (which Julia doesn’t have access to and can’t edit) will be removed.


  • The new season begins in the Spring – we will be in touch with residents then.
  • Garden cleanout will happen – they are removing large plants from the summer.
  • Sam is managing the composters
    • Possibly fall leaf collection?
  • Non-gardeners who want to compost
    • New committee can discuss whether we can do this