Princeton University

Candidacy Statements for 2016 Lawrence Committee Elections

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1. Allison Chaney:
My name is Allison Chaney and I am running for the position of President.  I have served on the Lawrence Committee for three years: two years as Garden Coordinator, and one year as Social Chair.  In these positions, I have advocated for new methods of communicating with residents, including creating a garden mailing list and initiating monthly single-question polls.   With the help of the current committee, I have drafted and submitted a proposal for funds for regular classes (e.g., yoga) to be taught at Lawrence.  I have also occasionally led our committee meetings in the absence of our current President, who is graduating.  If elected, I would do my best to understand the needs of Lawrence residents and communicate them to the administration.  I will also work with the other committee members to assist them in their roles.

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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. Being on the committee has been a very enjoyable and rewarding experience for me. It helped me to involve with the community and contribute to the decisions/discussions that have been brought up in our monthly meeting. I hope to continue as Vice-President next year too, and use the experience I have had so far to improve our community. Thank you for your consideration and support.

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GSG representative

1. Xiaoyu Tang:
I’m Xiaoyu Tang, the current GSG representative of the Lawrence Committee and would like to continue to serve on this position. For the past year of being GSG representative, I have promoted the smoking ban in all Lawrence buildings upon requests by some of the residents. As the nature of the GSG representative, I acted as a liaison between the residents and relative bodies in the school to communicate opinions back and forth: brought up the smoking issues reported by residents, brought back administraters’ need to make a decision, did the poll to see what’s the opinion of the broader residents community, reflected the situation to both GSG and the housing advisory board. The university is finally convinced to have smoking ban being the interest of the community and the residents will enjoy a smoke-free home. I attended GSG and housing advisory board meetings every month to convey new plans discussed to the residents and brought the requests of the residents to the university. In the meanwhile, I also helped the social chair to organize events throughout the year to bring residents together and to build a community sense. Serving one year on this position helps me gain enough experience to communicate between different bodies in the university and serve the community well. I would like to continue the service and I believe I can do a better job! Thanks for your consideration!

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1. Lauren Anllo:
My name is Lauren, and I running for the position of Secretary. I am a graduate student resident of Lawrence, and I have served as the Secretary for the Lawrence Committee for the past year. During my time as Secretary, I have increased the efficiency of e-mail communications between the Committee and residents: providing reminders about meetings, notifications of social events, information about community resources such as snow shovels and our parking lot, and individual communications with residents who have concerns. I think the interaction that I have maintained with the Lawrence residents has helped to create community by making our social events more widely publicized, and by keeping residents informed about issues concerning our apartment complex. I also have kept very detailed minutes from our committee meetings, which concisely but clearly describe any issue that was discussed to keep track of committee records, and to inform residents who are not able to attend the meetings.

If re-elected for the coming year, I intend to continue to tailor communications between the committee and residents as the community desires; the goal is to maximize communication in an honest and efficient way that does not burden e-mail readers. I also plan to continue to keep informative meeting minutes, which will maintain our committee’s records and thus inform us when addressing common or continuing issues.

I look forward to the possibility of working with the Lawrence Committee again in the coming year, and I greatly appreciate your consideration of my candidacy.

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Social Chair

1. Joseph Vella:
My name is Joseph Vella and I’m currently a 4th year graduate student in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering. I am currently running for Social Chair for the Lawrence Committee. I’ve lived in Lawrence apartments for the past 3 years and would love to become more involved in the community. I already have experience in servicing my department as a class representative since September 2012. With this role, I’ve held many leadership responsibilities such as setting up department BBQs and social hours, meeting with faculty candidates, and organizing our annual Graduate Student Symposium. I’m eager to extend my service to the housing community I’m a part of. I believe that Social Chair would be an appropriate position for me because it would allow me to learn more about the Lawrence community government and bring together members of the Lawrence community. If elected, I promise to organize fun events to foster a strong sense of community.
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Web Master

1. Julia Wittes:
My name is Julia Wittes and I am running for Lawrence committee webmaster. I have lived in Lawrence since June. I love living here and look forward to helping the committee to be even more effective at communicating information to residents. I also look forward to advocating for residents and helping to plan events as a member of the Lawrence committee. I have a good deal of experience doing student advocacy work from serving three terms on the Princeton Graduate Student Government (GSG) Executive Board, as Secretary and then as Facilities Chair. As a member of student government, I successfully wrote a proposal and advocated for Weekend Circulator bus service, Chaired the Provisional Lakeside Committee, helped in the development of the Frist Summer Cookout Series, and advocated for the creation of the Lakeside Hardship fund to compensate some Lakeside residents whose moves were delayed last year due to construction delays.

I have built and maintained two websites using WordPress, the platform used to build the Lawrence committee website, and am confident that I can continue to maintain the site and make upgrades to make it more informative to residents. In particular, I would like to take new photos of empty and/or furnished examples of apartments on the website, so that new and prospective residents can have more information about what the apartments will look like and how they can be furnished. Thank you for considering my candidacy and I hope that I can earn your vote.

2. Mai Yamaguchi:
My name is Mai Yamaguchi, and I would like to contribute to the Lawrence community by taking part in the Committee as Webmaster. I am currently a third year in the Art History Department, and this is my second year living in Lawrence. If elected, I will make sure to keep the website up-to-date and easy to use. In addition to posting Meeting Minutes, I will post information circulated through email on the website so that you don’t have to go rummaging through your email inboxes. I have written and maintained several blogs before, and am confident that I will be able to keep the WordPress site looking nice. As a member of the Lawrence Committee, I look forward to helping out other members in organizing events as well. Thank you for your consideration.

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Garden Coordinator

1. James Park:
My name is James Park, and I am running for garden coordinator of Lawrence apartments. I am a third year graduate student in the Chemistry department and have been a Lawrence resident since the summer of 2015. I have been having a great time living here so far, and it is clear that the Lawrence Committee has been making changes to improve the community. I would like to be a part of that committee to further assist in the changes to help the residents. I have attended most of the monthly committee meetings since I moved here. I have expressed my concern of the overly crowded Saturday Shopper line since the merging of two lines with Lakeside opening. This issue was later resolved that year by increasing the number of buses. I noticed how every opinion from the resident was well-incorporated for any changes and improvement for the community, and I would like to be part of that committee.

I have recently taken an increased interest in gardening. In my office, I have been planting and growing various plants adopted from previous members of the group or started from seeds. I would like to apply my love of gardening to maintaining the garden in Lawrence apartments. I am planning on making the garden more accessible to those who are interested while ensuring that the plants will not be stolen or damaged. By serving as the garden coordinator, I hope to continue improving the garden and promoting it as a proud property of the Lawrence community. Thank you for considering me as a garden coordinator.

2. Sarah James:
My name is Sarah James, and I am running for the position of Garden Coordinator. I am a fourth year Ph.D. student in Sociology and Social Policy and have lived in Lawrence since the summer of 2012. As your garden coordinator, I would work to ensure that all residents have the opportunity to garden in a protected space with ample supplies. Having a plot in the Lawrence garden was a highlight of my summer last year, and I hope to spread this enthusiasm (and the chance to grow so many tasty things!) to others in our community. In addition, as a member of the Lawrence Committee I would collaborate with other members to facilitate the events and services most beneficial to our residents. I am excited about this opportunity to serve the community that I have very much enjoy being a member of for these last few years.