January Meeting Minutes

Lawrence Election Meeting Minutes

January 12, 2016

Attendance:

  • Burcin Cakir
  • James Park
  • Ariane Ducellier
  • Nathaniel Chaney
  • Allison Chaney
  • Julia Wittes
  • A.J. Riggs
  • Clelia Pozzi
  • Sarah James
  • Mai Yamaguchi
  • Joseph Vella
  • Olivia Martel
  • Xiaoyu Tang
  • Sema Berkiten
  • Lauren Anllo
  • Katie Riggs

Part I: Election:

Throughout the election, a strong effort was made on all parts to conduct the meeting according to the Lawrence Committee Constitution with the goal of being fair and transparent.

Statements were given by each candidate in the following order:

Webmaster:

  • Julia Wittes: Julia emphasized her previous involvement with the GSG as the facilities chair, with housing policy work at Princeton, with the Housing Advisory Board, and with the Lakeside and Butler committees. Julia has built the Lakeside and GSG websites. She plans to put pictures of individual apartments on the housing websites. Julia also claims to be organized and tenacious, and she wants to meet people.
  • Mai Yamaguchi: Mai said that she has not had much previous committee experience, but that she would be excited to participate in the Lawrence committee. She has had many blogs, and has previous experience with wordpress. Mai wants to put more information on the website and on facebook to communicate with residents, and she considers herself a good communicator in general. 

Garden Coordinator:

  • James Park: James has lived in Lawrence for 1 year, and has attended most meetings while living here. He raised the issue of the Saturday Shopper bus being too crowded, and he is happy with how well the committee resolved this issue. James has many plants that he cares for in his office, some of which he inherited, and some which he grew from seed. James has also grown avocado from seed. He showed pictures of his office garden during his statement. James wants to have an open house for the garden to make the garden more accessible, and he wants to prevent theft in the garden. James also wants to express the opinions of his peers who cannot attend our meetings.
  • Sarah James: Sarah has lived in Lawrence since 2012. She had a garden plot this past summer, and she is aware of the benefits of gardening in New Jersey soil. Sarah believes she can adequately maintain the plots in the garden. She wants to have info sessions about gardening so new gardeners can learn how to garden. Sarah has been on many boards and committees previously, and she wants to give back to the Lawrence community by serving on the Lawrence Committee now.

President:

Allison Chaney: Allison has lived in Lawrence since 2010, in both Old and New Lawrence. She has served on the Lawrence committee for the past 3 years as either Garden Coordinator or Social Chair. Since Allison has experience in different roles on the committee, she believes that she can help other committee members to learn how to be effective in their new positions. Allison also has a lot of experience dealing with the issues that come up with the committee, and she can use this experience to run the committee well.

Vice President:

Burcin Cakir: Burcin has served as Secretary and Vice President on the Lawrence Committee in previous years. She has helped with various community discussions, and with social events, and she has found this experience to be very rewarding for her. She wants to continue to contribute to discussion on the committee, and to use her experience with the Committee as an asset. 

Secretary:

Lauren Anllo: Lauren has lived in Lawrence for the past year, and served on the committee as secretary during this year. She has worked to increase communication with residents regarding committee meetings and social events. Lauren has also played a large role in communicating with individual residents that contact the committee with concerns or ideas. In addition, Lauren has kept detailed records of meeting minutes in order to maintain the committee’s records. She wishes to continue to serve in this role in the coming year.

GSG Representative:

Xiaoyu Tang: Xiaoyu has served as the GSG Representative this past year. She has promoted the smoking ban at Housing Board meetings at the request of Lawrence residents. She has acted as a liaison between residents and administrators on the Housing Board, and she has helped the Social Chair with events.

Social Chair:

Joseph Vella: Joseph has lived in Lawrence the past 3 years. He has organized many BBQs and social hours within his department, as well as organizing research symposia. Joseph would like to use this previous experience to organize events at Lawrence. Joseph is responsive to e-mail, and he wants to organize fun events to create a sense of community in Lawrence.

After statements were given, the voting was carried out. Ballots were distributed to all meeting attendees. Each voter could only vote once for each position, but could choose to abstain from voting for individual positions. Ballots were then handed to the election committee, and the results were counted for each candidate. Absentee ballots sent via e-mail, totaling 17 votes, were also included in the final counts. Vote counts were reported for the contested positions to ensure transparency.

Results:

  • Webmaster: Julia Wittes with 19 votes (Mai received 13)
  • Garden Coordinator: Sarah James with 22 votes (James received 11)
  • President: Allison Chaney
  • Vice President: Burcin Cakir
  • Secretary: Lauren Anllo
  • GSG Representative: Xiaoyu Tang
  • Social Chair: Joseph Vella

All candidates for uncontested positions received at least 13 votes. All voting ballots will be saved for 10 days in case they are questioned, as per our constitution.

Part II: Committee Meeting:

Discussed Items:

  • New Committee Members: The former committee members must speak with new members about their new roles, if the new members have not previously served with the committee. All committee members must assist the Social Chair with social events, including purchasing items, planning, and inviting friends. The former committee is going to work on adding new committee members to the internal Lawrence Committee mailing list, so they can receive e-mails that are sent to the committee.
  • Shopping Carts: There is a problem that has come up many times recently, in which the communal shopping carts are disappearing, and possibly being used by individual Lawrence Residents in their apartments. The committee is discussing many possible solutions to this problem. We are also investigating the rumor that Lawrence shopping carts are being taken by Lakeside residents, who may not have shopping carts.
    1. GPS tracking of carts: Electronically tracking carts was discussed as an option to prevent carts from being lost. This tracking could be done using the wireless routers, but could get complicated and expensive. There are also trackers that can be put on the carts, which people usually use to locate their keys, but these trackers generally only function when a locating device is within 20 ft, and so would not be effective for our apartment complex.
    2. Alternative cart loss protection: The idea of swiping one’s ID to borrow a cart was discussed, but the prox system is expensive ($500 per prox location). We also discussed adding a device to carts that beeps every few minutes, so that residents are annoyed by the sound and do not want to hide carts in their apartments. Since the committee frequently cycles, and this cart problem often comes up, we are interested in discussing solutions such as these to create permanent solutions to cart loss.
    3. Plan: Committee members will have a meeting with OIT to discuss our ideas regarding cart loss prevention. In the meantime, all carts are in the process of being labeled as belonging to Lawrence (as soon as they are located), and locations throughout Lawrence (dumpsters and the G level of Building 1) are labeled as being “return locations” for carts.
    4. Request for additional carts and dollies: People are often using carts for moving, which is damaging the carts. We are going to ask Dave Young about getting some additional carts, and also about getting dollies to assist with moving so that carts are not damaged during moving season.
  • Social Event: We typically budget for 2 social events per semester, and we have had 1 last semester. We are talking about having another social event in January or February.
    1. Ideas for event: Ideas discussed include study breaks with hot chocolate and donuts, award watching parties, superbowl parties, etc. We discussed that the events should have either an event or activity to focus on, to facilitate interactions between residents who have not met previously. We discussed that it might be interesting to hold “American culture” events such as awards-watching, or the superbowl, to give international students exposure to some of the fun American culture in our community.
    2. Budget: Our committee’s budget is $1000 for the year, and is reserved for social events. We must use this budget before we apply for additional funds, although we have applied for a large supplement to host classes such as yoga or art classes in our community rooms. Any money that is leftover from our social events can be used for infrastructure that would mutually benefit the community. We discussed the idea of having our piano in the community room tuned at the end of the year.
  • Monthly Poll of Residents: We are trying to send residents a 1-question poll each month, to help with transparency and also to ensure that all resident needs are represented. The poll question is based on the most pressing issue at the committee meetings. This month, we discussed either polling residents to ask which social event they would prefer, or to ask them for their ideas on how to prevent loss of our shopping carts. The poll will be sent out to residents shortly.