Princeton University

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)