Princeton University

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!