May Lawrence Committee Meeting Minutes

Discussion Topics:
Lawrence BBQ Event: The barbecue is scheduled for Wednesday, May 20th at 5:30pm
The rain date will be May 21st. We will contact facilities about having access to the grill rental for the rain date if necessary.
Flyers will be posted at the bus stop, and e-mailed to residents
Residents will be able to sign up for grilling slots through an e-mailed Doodle poll
The event has been approved, and no GSG funding request is necessary

Laundry: New washing machines will be installed May 19th
Tuesday, May 19th, Laundry rooms in Building 1 and 10 will close completely for the day
5 new machines will be installed in Lawrence 1, 4 new machines will be installed in Lawrence 10

Garden: Lock and hose issues discussed
A lock with a numerical code has been ordered, and we are waiting for it to be received by the lock shop.
The hose by the far shed is slit, and will be repaired

Bike Clean up:
The clean-up is complete
Another clean up will happen in the Fall
Remember to park bikes in designated bike racks only

Parking Lots:
Residents should be sure to park in designated parking spots only
The University is aware that parking spots need to be repainted

Piano in Lawrence 14: This piano needs to be tuned and repaired
This summer, will look into scheduling a piano tuning
We will look into the cost of disposing of old pianos and moving in a new donated piano if a free donated piano becomes available in Lawrence by residents leaving the complex. If we do have a piano donated, we will not be tuning the current piano.

Dima Gorenshteyn
Xiaoyu Tang
Burcin Cakir
AJ Riggs
Olivia Martel
Lauren Anllo

April Committee Meeting Minutes

Discussion Topics:

  1. Summer BBQ Planning: The BBQ will take place Tuesday, May 19th at 6pm. Set-up will begin at 5:30pm.
    1. Proposal: Xiaoyu will contact Rachael Barry from the GSG to obtain a copy of the BBQ proposal from 2013 to use as a guide for an ordering menu and budget.
    2. Budget: Burcin will check our committee’s budget, so that we can determine if we have the amount of money in our budget that was used for the BBQ in 2013. This information will help us determine whether we have the funding resources, or whether we need to request funding from the GSG. Lily Secora may be consulted for help with checking the budget.
    3. Equipment Rental: The committee will check previous committee e-mails, and will consult Princeton equipment rental resources to gather information to guide rental of the grills, i.e. where to get the grills, how many grills to order, and how to schedule rental. When contacting the equipment rental company, the committee should be advised to keep confirmation numbers and contact the rental company frequently to ensure that the request is processed appropriately.
    4. Menu: The menu will be guided by the past menu listed in the proposal that Xiaoyu will obtain from 2013. Allison will send out the menu ahead of time, and the committee will ensure that all dietary restrictions are covered. Someone suggested having Hoagie Haven sandwiches instead of a BBQ for convenience of preparation and to avoid potential problems with a grill rental, but the committee as a whole decided the BBQ would be nicer for the beginning of the summer.
    5. Grilling sign up: A sign-up sheet will be sent out to the entire Lawrence Community for anyone who wants to volunteer to take a shift at the grill.
  2. Piano in Lawrence 14 Community Room: A resident who is a pianist has suggested that the piano is internally damaged and may not be able to be properly tuned. Allison suggested asking the University piano tuner to take a look at the piano to give a professional opinion about whether tuning is possible. The University piano tuner charges $100 to charge the pianos. Lauren will also contact individuals within the music department to get other opinions about the piano scenario.
  3. Internet Speed in Lawrence Apartments:
    1. Problem: Residents have noticed that the internet has been incredibly slow lately. This causes problems for residents who are recreationally streaming movies from the internet, and it also causes problems for students who are trying to work from home using the internet in Lawrence. Olivia brought up the point that there are approximately 50 rogue internet routers in Lawrence that could be contributing to the slower internet speed. Dima brought up the point that in the past, OIT has been able to fix the internet speed to make the internet incredibly fast. Dima has suggested asking for this fix again.
    2. Potential Solution Ideas: Olivia is going to contact the University’s head of OIT regarding this issue. Residents are also advised to report all internet problems. Dima and Lauren will begin by reporting issues they have had.
  4. The Garden is open! The garden is open, the soil has been tilled, and plots have been assigned and marked. A.J. plans to purchase some new needed supplies for the garden shed. Olivia has reported that a combination lock has been ordered to lock the garden. Anyone who has the code (including Butler residents who are gardening in Lawrence) will be able to access the garden.
  5. Laundry Room: Some residents have reported that there are two new washing machines that are now in Lawrence Building 1, and that these machines have a smaller loading capacity and tend to trap items of clothing and debris in the rubber surrounding the machine door. Olivia has reported this issue and it is currently under investigation.
  6. Bicycle Clean Up: The bike clean up has begun and is underway. Not all of the areas in Lawrence have undergone the bike clean up, so it is wise to leave tags on bikes. Olivia will obtain more information about the bike clean up schedule. The cause of the initial clean up delay was problems with snow removal. Individuals who are conducting the bike clean up are aware of the fact that some of the bike tags may fall off the bikes, and so they are trying to avoid removing bikes that look new, or that look like they have new locks on them.
  7. Seating in the rear of Building 1: A student requested a bench to be placed behind Lawrence Building 1. This request was investigated, but it has been denied and it will not be further pursued.
  8. Parking Lot Lines: In certain areas of the parking lot, in particular closer to the bus stop, the lines indicating parking spots have worn away and can no longer be seen. As a consequence, some residents are occupying multiple spots with one car. Last year, a request was made to re-paint the parking lines. This request has been re-initiated.
  9. Mentorship for Graduate Students: Administration has realized the large wealth of resources that the University has for older graduate students to mentor younger graduate students. Conversations have begun to help to define what mentorship is, what the demand is, and how mentorship can be organized so that it is useful to students.
    1. Supporters: GSG agrees that graduate student mentoring is a good idea, and supports it.
    2. Model: One current model for mentoring structure is the Undergraduate McGraw Center Learning Consultants. These consultants are undergraduates who are mentoring younger undergraduates.
    3. Possible benefits: Mentorship can help with graduate student life, i.e. helping students to locate the gym, healthcare, the supermarket, and other resources. Mentorship can also or alternatively help with academics, i.e. helping graduate students to realize what research is, how to schedule meetings with an adviser, what to discuss at a meeting with an adviser or with a committee, etc.
    4. Past Efforts: Prior to 2007, a “buddy system” of older and younger graduate students was employed for this purpose, and was successful at first. As proponents of the initial plan graduated, the success of this plan was dampened.
    5. Ideas: The role of this type of mentorship could be viewed as an enabling model, not a facilitator model. The model for mentorship could be less of a one-on-one structure, and more about gathering resources for experiences that happen at different times (for example, Generals). We could revise our Grad College document that is a “survival guide,” and circulate this document as a resource. A workshop model could be utilized to organize the mentorship, with mentoring sessions focused on various topics that younger graduate students can RSVP to attend. With the workshop model, students would have the option to access only relevant topics, while avoiding superfluous advice. It might be possible to involve the McGraw Center in this mentoring effort, because learning how to be a mentor is an important part of teaching, and the McGraw Center could help training people how to mentor.
    6. Opinions: Graduate students who have lived on their own prior to attending graduate school may not feel a need for mentorship regarding living on one’s own for the first time. These graduate students might prefer academic advice, including how to talk to an adviser. In response to this issue, a “workshop model” was proposed (see above). A mentorship design in which students and “pick and choose” what mentorship they receive might be most favorable. Some graduate students feel that academic advice about graduate school is department specific, and that it might be better to fund individual departments to organize mentorship activities than it would be to involve the whole graduate school. It has been suggested that graduate students from different departments could get together for an initial focus group to discuss what issues would be relevant to them, to determine if there is any departmental overlap that would be relevant to all or many graduate students.

Dima Gorenshteyn
Xiaoyu Tang
Burcin Cakir
AJ Riggs
Allison Chaney
Olivia Martel
Lauren Anllo
Ohad Fried (on behalf of Sema)

March Meeting Minutes

Discussed Items

  1. Bicycles: A resident has raised the concern that there are many abandoned bikes in the shed near Lawrence Building 1. Olivia has notified Chris Warkala, who is looking into where the bike removal situation stands.
  2. Trash and Composting: A resident has informed the committee that current labeling of the recycling and trash bins is confusing; there are multiple signs on the same recycling bin, some saying, “bottles only” and others saying, “single stream recycling.” To remedy this situation, Olivia has spoken with Chris Warkala. Chris has gotten back to the committee and informed us that facilities will soon scrape off all old labels and replace these with new, clear labels. Compost bins are not currently in use because it is too cold outside. The composting process can only work when it is warm enough for bacteria to grow in the decomposing organic waste.
  3. Smoking inside and outside within Lawrence Apartments
    1. Outside smoking: A resident has suggested that the Lawrence Committee discuss whether it would be favorable to instate a rule banning smokers from smoking outside (as well as inside) by Lawrence Apartments. The committee believes that this sort of action is too extreme, and that this rule is so strict that people would most likely break it. Thus, we do not think that banning outside smoking is appropriate. Instead, the committee agrees that it is reasonable to enforce the rule that smokers must not smoke closer than 20-25 feet away from a door or window. The committee also agrees that smokers should not smoke near the children’s play areas.
    2. Inside smoking: Some committee members suggested that one way to prevent indoor smoking from upsetting neighbors would be to seal the gaps between the apartment doors and the floor. No official action regarding this suggestion is being taken now. The Housing committee did not have time to discuss indoor smoking at its most recent meeting, but it plans to discuss this issue at the next meeting.
  4. Seating outside Lawrence Apartments: A student has raised the point that it would be nice to have a bench outside of Lawrence Building 1 in the back of the building that enters on the 1st floor. This student has indicated that it is depressing to sit outside the building and face the cars in the front of the building. Olivia has been in contact with someone about putting a bench in the back of the building, but this request is a difficult one to fulfill, and might not happen.
  5. Hooks for shovels: Hooks have been installed inside of the trash shelters to hang shovels. These hooks are already being used, and residents are encouraged to keep using them.
  6. Piano Tune up in Lawrence 14 Common Room: A student has asked to have the piano in Lawrence 14 tuned. Olivia has made a note of this request and is going to look into tuning it.
  7. Past Oscars Social Event:
    1. Cable TV in Lawrence 14: In order to have the Oscars event in Lawrence 14, the committee had Cable installed in this building. Since then, the TV in the common area in Lawrence 14 now has Cable.
    2. Attendance: The event was relatively well attended. In addition to the committee, 11 residents came, and 7 individuals submitted votes to guess the Oscar winners. The winner who guessed the most correct Oscar winners received a movie-themed prize, consisting of a mug with movie quotes on it filled with movie candy and popcorn.
  8. Future Social Events, including the Spring BBQ:
    1. Possible non-alcoholic mixer: The committee has discussed the idea of having a non-alcoholic mixer for couples, families, and singles to mingle, enjoy some non-alcoholic mixed drinks, and share some appetizers. We do not know when it would be appropriate to have such an event, but we might consider it as the weather gets warmer.
    2. Spring Outdoor BBQ: This yearly, well-attended event will be planned for the end of the Spring semester. The event will be a traditional barbecue, including a menu of burgers, veggie burgers, and hot dogs. All residents will be invited to attend. To have the event, the committee will need to rent grills, charcoal, tubs of ice, and trash cans from facilities. The entire committee will help with planning, staffing, and advertising the event. A date, and a rain date that all committee members can attend will be discussed at our April meeting. The first and current step towards planning this event include checking our committee budget, and requesting information regarding how much the event cost last year
    3. Reimbursements: All reimbursements should be submitted for approval to Lily Secora through Concur.
    4. Flyers: The committee is allowed to flyer to advertise social events. We plan to advertise future events with flyers at the bus stop and Laundry rooms 1 week before the event.
  9. Ping Pong Table request: At the Housing committee meeting, someone requested a ping pong table for Lawrence. This request will be addressed at the end of the year, if there is room in the committee budget. Ping pong tables tend to be expensive, and they break often at the GC and in Butler. If there is money in the budget towards the end of the year, the committee might consider a foosball table, but only if the budget allows at the end.
  10. Garden: A.J., our garden coordinator, will send out an e-mail to plan out our garden use within the next few weeks. If weather allows, the garden may be able to open by April. First, the ice in the garden must melt, water must dry, and then the ground can be tilled. The committee will contact Butler residents who might want to use the Lawrence garden, since there are often empty plots. Olivia will also be looking into switching the locks to a keypad with a code, so that composters and non-residents who have permission to use garden plots can access the garden.
  11. Facebook Page: The Lawrence Community has its own Facebook page that residents should feel free to join, and to use to share items, sell or give away furniture, request help, or join together to make donations or give gifts as a community. The committee will publicize this page again, and will begin posting to initiate an online community amongst Lawrence residents.

Lauren Anllo
Firdevs Ulus (on behalf of Sema)
Dmitriy Gorenshteyn
Allison Chaney
Olivia Martel
AJ Riggs
Xiaoyu Tang

February Meeting Minutes

Discussed Items

  1. E-mail communications from the committee: The Lawrence committee has monthly meetings at 6pm in the common area of Lawrence Building 1 on the 2nd Tuesday of each month. As a reminder to residents going forward, an e-mail will be sent out to the community a full day before the meeting.
  1. Tiger Transit Shuttles:
    1. Tiger transit is having a review of all of the transit lines. The transportation office is collecting the names of student representatives that will either attend a “to-be-announced” transit meeting, or be contacted by the individuals conducting the review of shuttle lines. The Lawrence committee is in touch with the representatives for this meeting.
    2. Sometimes, the Tiger Line shuttle comes to Lawrence slightly earlier than the designated “time points” and parks near the entrance to the Lawrence parking lot to wait. On days when the weather is cold, raining, or otherwise unpleasant, some Lawrence residents have expressed the desire to instead have the bus wait at the actual bus stop. This way, students waiting for the “time point” can take shelter on the warm bus while waiting. Olivia intends to ask Transportation whether this alternative is possible.
  2. Smoke-free Housing Options:
    1. Currently, the Grad College, Lawrence Building 1, and Lakeside Apartments are non-smoking buildings. Non-smoking buildings are defined as buildings in which residents are not permitted to smoke inside of their apartments. In all buildings (smoke-free, and not), smoking is not permitted in the common areas, or within 25 feet of the outside of the building.
    2. Graduate students have expressed the concern that additional buildings in Lawrence should be made “smoke-free.” Students with various living conditions (single, married, with or without children) have all expressed this interest. But in particular, graduate students with young children may want to keep their apartments free of smoke, and these graduate students might want to have this option in the two bedroom apartments in Old Lawrence, which are cheaper than the ones in Lakeside will be. The Lawrence Committee took a vote, and unanimously agreed to support the idea of requesting that all or most of Old Lawrence (buildings 2-7) be designated as “smoke-free” apartments in the future.
    3. Selecting a “smoke-free” apartment is likely to be an option that can be chosen on future room draw housing applications.
    4. If you are bothered by a smoking neighbor: you are encouraged to take the approach of knocking on your neighbor’s door, and personally requesting that the neighbor smoke outside. This approach is suggested instead of sending out a mass e-mail, which is not likely to be as effective or well-received.
  3. Building 14 Common Area:
    1. There has been a request made to have the piano tuned. Olivia made note of this request.
    2. Olivia is putting in a request in to have the TV in working order within the next couple of weeks.
  4. Garbage and Recycling Disposal in Lawrence 1: A request was made to consider using the 3rd, unused bin within the trash shelter as an additional recycling bin. Before this request can be considered, Lawrence 1 residents must be reminded to put all trash that is in the trash shelter inside the appropriate bins, not outside of the bins. This situation can then be re-evaluated.
  5. Snow Shovels:
    1. For now, since large quantities are not expected, the shovels are put away. They will be taken out again the next time snow is forecasted.
    2. The intention is to keep snow shovels in the trash shelters when they are not in use, so that others may find them. In order to clearly designate the shovels as “not trash,” Dima from the committee will be in touch with Dave Young from Facilities regarding creating hooks for hanging the shovels inside of the trash shelters.
  6. Oscars (Film Awards) Social Event (Planned for Feb 22nd):
    1. Soon, the social chair will be sending out details to residents regarding an Oscars-viewing party. There will be an initial e-mail sent, followed by a reminder e-mail.
    2. At the event, there will be an Oscar’s ballot to guess the winners, accompanied by a “cheat sheet” reminding people of the movies and actors that are up for awards. The event will offer a prize to the individual who guesses the most correct winners. There will also be snacks at the event, including some Chinese snacks in honor of the Chinese New Year. Xiaoyu will help with the planning of the Chinese food snacks.
    3. We are considering making flyers for the event. Guests may be encouraged to RSVP for the Oscars party so we can get an approximate head count.
    4. Regarding reimbursement concerns for the party, the committee members who accrue expenses in preparation for the party will contact Lily Secoura regarding directly.

Lauren Anllo
Dmitriy Gorenshteyn
Allison Chaney
Olivia Martel
Xiaoyu Tang
Burcin Cakir
Joshua Wallace

January Election Minutes

Discussed Items:

  1. Election:
    1. The election was led by Andra. All candidates verbally gave their statements, and then ID-confirmed meeting attendants were given paper ballots to vote. Once the voting time allotted was completed, Andra tallied the votes and election winners were announced.
    2. Election results:
      President: Dima Gorenshteyn
      Vice President: Burcin Cakir
      Social Chair: Allison Chaney
      Garden Coordinator: A.J. Riggs
      Webmaster: Sema Berkiten
      Secretary: Lauren Anllo
      GSG Representative: Xiaoyu Tang
    3. Following the election and the post-election meeting, new committee members mingled with former committee members to discuss their new job responsibilities.
  2. Tiger Transit Shuttles:
    1. Lawrence residents have brought up the idea of having a weekend shuttle that will take students to campus. In addition to this shuttle, students have mentioned having a shuttle that will run from Lawrence to the gym. These issues have been discussed at GSG meetings as well.
    2. Olivia has informed us that the issue of additional shuttles has been brought to the attention of Kim Jackson with Transportation previously. Kim indicated that there is not funding for any additional weekend shuttles now, but that there might be funding for shuttles in future years. A student pointed out that since the Tiger PAWW line (which went to Princeton Junction) is no longer running, the money that was used to fund that transit line could possibly be put towards other additional transit lines.
    3. Olivia has offered, if necessary, to communicate with Kim Jackson about our concerns, and to ask Kim what would be feasible in terms of additional transit lines. Once we confirm what might be feasible, we can then consider consulting with the Lawrence community about what additional lines we would want within feasible parameters.
    4. Burcin has mentioned an interview with Tiger Transit that will discuss transit issues, since currently all of transit is currently being evaluated. If this interview meeting happens, the Lawrence committee would like to either have a representative present at the meeting, or to have a statement written to the considered at the meeting.
  3. Updating the Listserv: Now that elections for the new year are complete, the committee will update the listserv. Dima will collect names of everyone on the new committee, which will then be distributed to Sema.
  4. Information for spouses of students living in Lawrence:
    1. Voting: All residents in Lawrence can vote in Lawrence elections, including spouses.
    2. E-mail communications: E-mail communications regarding Lawrence buildings (i.e. elevator repairs, facilities’ entrance into apartments, etc.) are sent directly to Princeton students in Lawrence only. Princeton students must forward these e-mail communications to non-student spouses living with them.


Xiaoyu Tang
AJ Riggs
Nathaniel Chaney
Olivia Martel
Allison Chaney
Carly Geronimo
Sema Berkiten
Burcin Cakir
Stephen Silverman
Lauren Anllo
Dima Gorenshteyn
Andra Geana

January Meeting Minutes

Discussed Items

1. Rogue Internet: OIT will address rogue access points in the near future.

2. Bike racks:
a. Bikes should not be left chained to benches, or in the hallway. Please ask anyone with bikes in the hallway to remove them, as this is a fire hazard. Dave Young, our Superintendent, may also be contacted regarding this issue.
b. Bike racks will be cleaned out soon, providing more room to store bikes.
c. Remember to tag your bikes, since untagged bikes will be removed from the racks soon.

3. Broken Window in Lawrence 13: There is a part missing from the window requiring special glass, but Facilities is aware of this and the part will be coming soon.

4. Committee Expense Reports: It was brought to the committee’s attention that future reimbursement requests must be sent by a group’s Treasurer, the “expense delegate.” The committee will clarify whether this is true. If so, we must clarify whether the Vice President or the Social Chair should be listed as Treasurer, since our committee has no Treasurer position. If necessary, the Constitution may be amended to clarify whether the Vice President or Social Chair will be listed as Treasurer.

5. Washing Machines in Building 1: 2 new washers have recently been installed in Building 1. These washers have a rubber seal that can trap clothing or dirt. Olivia Martel made note of this issue.

6. Recent Social Event (Snowflakes and Hot Cocoa): Attendance was low, but this is often expected for indoor events. Allison requested suggestions for increasing attendance of indoor events, since these events are not clearly visible to all residents. Olivia suggested events such as a Superbowl party, or an awards-viewing party, to encourage residents to come indoors to focus on something together.

7. Elections:
a. 2 people will be running the elections next Tuesday in Lawrence 14.
b. An e-mail reminder about the elections will be sent very soon, and again on the day of the elections. The reminder will include instructions, and information about who can vote and where to read about the candidates.
c. Currently all positions are uncontested, and no one is currently running for GSG Representative.
d. After the elections, there will be a brief meeting so that newly elected committee members can discuss and clarify their new responsibilities with the current committee.
e. A list of all Lawrence Residents will be requested from Jim Poole. All Lawrence residents are eligible to vote in the elections, and residency will be confirmed on the list received from the housing office.

8. Online Communications:
a. Currently, the Constitution is not clearly visible on our Lawrence website. We would like Sema to modify the website so that the Constitution is clearly visible in a drop-down menu.
b. Going forward, our meeting minutes will be e-mailed to the Lawrence Committee so that the entire committee will have an opportunity to review the meeting minutes before they are posted.

Lauren Anllo
Andra Geana
Allison Chaney
Olivia Martel
Dmitriy Gorenshteyn
Jian Zhou
Xiaoyu Tang

Lawrence Committee Elections

Current Candidate Statements:


1. Dmitriy (Dima) Gorenshteyn
My name is Dima and I am the current GSG Representative for the Lawrence community. This year I am running for the position of Lawrence Committee President. I firmly believe in the value of graduate student representation; active representation ensures that the university is aware of our needs as a graduate student community. For the past two years I have served as liaison between the Lawrence community and the GSG, I have diligently listened and voiced the needs and concerns of the Lawrence residents. In addition, I represent the graduate student community by holding membership on the Graduate Student Housing Advisory Board as well as the Career Services Advisory Board. As President of this committee, I will use my knowledge and experience to facilitate a clear communication of the needs of Lawrence residents by ensuring that our community is thoroughly represented in university subcommittees. I hope to continue my membership in the Lawrence committee and I look forward to serving this community in the upcoming year. Thank you for your consideration and your support.

Vice President:

1. Burcin Cakir
My name is Burcin Cakir and I am running for the Vice President position. I really enjoy being a part of the Lawrence community and serve the residents as a member of the committee. I am the current Vice President, and in the past, I had a chance to serve in both the Secretary and the Vice President positions. As a committee member, I recorded the necessary announcements, preserved the written reports and helped them to be shared with the residents of Lawrence Apartments. I also tried to be a contact point for the suggestions/complaints of all residents, and raised them in the meetings. Based on my experience, one of the most important issues is the communication between the committee and the residents. To achieve this, with the help of our webmaster, we set up a Lawrence Facebook page to provide an informal social communication platform for the residents.


1. Lauren Anllo
My name is Lauren, and I am a current resident in Lawrence. In the past, I have served as the Molecular Biology department GSG representative, and I was actively involved with the GSG Health and Life Committee. I expressed graduate student concerns to our Princeton administrators at GSG meetings, assisted UHS with a graduate student perspective on interviewing staff members, and helped advertise health awareness events to our campus. I hope to utilize my experience with representing graduate students at Princeton to contribute to an active and enthusiastic Lawrence Committee in the coming year. It is my goal to employ my strong organizational and communication skills to being an effective Lawrence Committee Secretary.
My work ethic has always thrived on my attention to detail, preparedness, and thorough note taking. Recently, I have been conducting classroom observations for the McGraw Center on campus, which have required me to take scrupulous notes recording every interaction and behavior exhibited by students and instructors during an hour-long class period. My notes are of such quality that I am able to recall minor events in detail with the instructors when we have our post-observation meetings. If elected as Lawrence Committee Secretary, I intend to apply this detailed note-taking and organization to maintaining our records, and communicating with our Lawrence residents in a timely and effective manner. I look forward to the possibility of working with the Lawrence Committee in the coming year, and I greatly appreciate your consideration of my candidacy.

GSG Representative:

1. Tracy Liu
Hello Lawrence Community! My name is Tracy; I am a third year graduate student in Chemistry and I am excited to have the opportunity to run for GSG Representative. This position is particularly appealing to me because I believe that maintaining good lines of communication between residents and the University community plays a pivotal role in ensuring that improvements can always be made and current problems addressed. On this subject, one of my ideas to further facilitate residents’ ability to make problems known and/or submit suggestions for community improvement is looking into installing a dropbox inside the bus stop for submitting comments, as well as working with the Webmaster to set up a link on either a Facebook page or the Lawrence Community website for sending in comments/reporting problems. Both these methods provide easy methods for residents to communicate issues they would like the GSG Representative to bring up with the University community, as well as reach out to the Lawrence Committee in general so that we may address community related problems more efficiently. While I am most passionate about the role of GSG Representative, I recognize that improving our community means that each member should be eager to tackle issues and initiate improvements even outside the realm of their mandated role. That said, one project I would like to undertake with the help of my fellow committee members would be to replace the shopping carts with proper moving carts and dollies to keep in each building, which I believe would greatly facilitate the move-in/out process for residents. Finally, a few residents have already pointed out that it can be inconvenient for graduate students needing to work Saturdays to grocery shop with only a Saturday Shopper in service. Thus, I would like to suggest to the GSG that we contact Parking and Transportation about the feasibility of modifying the weekend Shopper service to include a Sunday Shopper. As a person, I am a highly proactive, responsible, and caring individual. I am the current off-ice training captain for the Princeton University Figure Skating Team, which requires me to develop a good rapport with each member of the team. Within my department, I took the initiative to contact, invite, and host seminar speakers from institutions Princeton Chemistry has never before had contact with (i.e. the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC). Thank you for taking the time to read my candidacy statement. I look forward to the having the chance to continue to improve our community!

2. Xiaoyu Tang
I’m Xiaoyu Tang, the current secretary of the Lawrence Committee and am running for the GSG representative. I’m a fourth year graduate student from MAE and have been living in Lawrence for two and half years so I have seen a lot of improvements in the community.

Serving as the secretary of the Lawrence Committee, I became more aware of the concerns residents usually have and how the Lawrence Committee helped with that. We have discussed a lot of issues, such as the wi-fi problems, shuttle schedule, and broken parts of the facilities. I was glad to see that most of the problems were effectively solved by getting our voices heard. We also planned on social events to bring the community members together to know each other and feel like a big family. Through the process, I recognized more value of Lawrence Committee and grew a lot of passion to be part of it to serve the community even better! Technically, I have been recording the minutes carefully, joined the discussion and think of the ways to solve the problems. I have a better idea of what residents care about. It’s very rewarding to make the community a better place.

Now I’d like to move forward to be a liaison between the Lawrence Committee and the GSG. First of all, I’ll speak out the needs of the residents as a whole to GSG and other appropriate external bodies. I’ll also pay attention to the issues discussed on the GSG meeting on a broader level and bring them back to the Lawrence committee and further to the residents. At the mean time, I’ll reach out to representatives in other residential communities and exchange experiences and ideas of making the community a better place. My goal is to have the voice of the residents heard and keep the residents updated with any relevant changes made in GSG and even the school. I have been the Logistic Chair for the Association of Chinese Students and Scholars at Princeton University, and organized the Chinese Lunch every Thursday at Campus Club, which provides delicious Chinese food to people all around the campus. I think one common character the logistic chair and GSG representative share is to be attentive to people’s needs and always make every effort to meet other’s needs. On the other hand, I’m also the co-chair of the publicity group of APGA Reunions Committee which serves to connect between the alumni community and current graduate student community in both directions and helps build the communication skills.

I’ll make full use of my passion and skills to serve the community better! Thanks a lot for your consideration!

Social Chair:

1. Allison Chaney
I have live in Lawrence since Fall 2010, and have served as Garden Coordinator for two years; I enjoyed the social aspects of working with the garden community, and am now acting as Social Chair. Between my time in both positions, I have helped the committee with numerous events, and I hope to continue as Social Chair. Most recently, I organized a pumpkin carving event in the fall and I am currently planning a study break for January. I ask for your support moving forward.


1. Sema Berkiten
My name is Sema. I am a fifth year PhD student in Computer Science Department. I have been living in Lawrence community for 4 years now and I was in the Lawrence committee as the webmaster during the last year. As a webmaster, I kept the lawrence website up-to-date, changed/upgraded the website (new location:, and created a community facebook group. I would like to continue serving as a Webmaster during the next year as well. I look forward to be a part of the committee again next year and I appreciate your support.

Garden Coordinator:

1. A.J. Riggs
As the garden coordinator, I, A.J. Riggs, would work hard to make your life easier. From my past two years gardening here and from growing up on a farm, I have the experience to keep the garden in good shape. I have a simple plan for making the Lawrence Apartment gardening experience better for everyone. In addition to the policies previously introduced to make the garden function well, I will:

1) Personally keep the weeds down in the communal pathways, around the compost bins and sheds, and in unused plots. This will make it easier to get around the garden and harder for rabbits and pests to hide. I’ll also rip out the poison ivy near around the compost bins and along the fence.
2) Reduce unused space in the garden. Last year there were many unused plots, so I will make it easier for people to have larger plots if they want and advertise the garden heavily in the spring and when new leases start in July.
3) Organize and fix the tools. I’ll make a better storage system for the tools so that they don’t get tangled up, fix up the rickety wheelbarrow, and repair all the damaged or broken tools.

I would love the opportunity to improve our garden and make it more accessible to you, so please vote for me as the new garden coordinator!

December Minutes

Items discussed:

1. Glass window for Lawrence 13

There were reported problems with the glass window in Lawrence 13. Maintenance will address the issue during December 16th- 19th and emails will be sent close to the date.

2. Bike rack

The bike cleanup will be done by the transportation department after the holidays. On January 5th, they will send an email asking residents to mark their bikes and a reminder on January 12th. On January 19th, they will pick up the abandoned bikes. They will decide whether to install more bike racks after that.

3. Election

The statement for the election will be online soon. The election will take place on January 20th as sent in the email and the deadline for declaring candidacy is January 16th.

4. Study break

The study break will take place on January 6th. More details coming soon…

Xiaoyu Tang
AJ E Riggs
Burcin Cakir
Nathanid Chaney
Firdevs Ulus (on behalf of Sema Berkitun)
Dmitriy Gorenshteyn
Andra Geana
Olivia Martel

November Minutes

Items discussed:
1. Wi-fi problem
OIT has reported the slowing down of wi-fi signal in some buildings and they have observed private wireless points in several buildings. Reminders regarding the policy towards personal wifi set up will be sent out to residents.

2. Election
The election for the next tenure will take place in January. The committee will send out emails to announce the instructions and timeline.

3. Study break
We are planning to organize a study break in the form of a small party or ‘snow flake cutting’ in January. Details will be discussed next meeting and notice will be sent out after that.

4. Several suggestions were raised:
a. Getting more benches in the Lawrence complex, especially at the rear door of Lawrence 1.
b. Installing more bike racks and cleaning up old bikes.

Mercedes Valmisa
Sergio Luque
Olivia Martel
Allison Chaney
Andra Geana
Dmitriy Gorenshteyn
Haotian Pang
AJ Riggs
Chun (Tracy) Liu
Burcin Cakir
Xiaoyu Tang