February Meeting Minutes

Lawrence Committee Meeting

February 9, 2016

  • Mauricio Loyola
  • Lauren Anllo
  • Allison Chaney
  • Olivia Martel
  • Julia Wittes
  • Xiaoyu Tang
  • Joey Vella
  • Sarah James

Discussed Items:

1) Shopping Cart loss and tracking: The shopping carts in our apartment complex are often missing, and unable to be located. Our Vice President, Burcin, met with OIT to discuss technological ways to put tracking devices on the shopping carts. Tracking the carts could be a way to prevent losing them. OIT is not able to monitor the carts, but they are open to other suggestions. Burcin is going to do a little bit more research about how to keep track of the carts in our complex in another way.

2) Shovels: In past years, there have been problems with the community shovels disappearing. Fortunately, during the past blizzard, the new shovels were very well labeled and all of them were recovered. Two shovels are hanging in the central garbage area for use. There are 5 remaining shovels that the committee is storing until in the next storm, when we will again disperse them for use.

3) Water: Some residents have noted recently that the water running from their faucets was brown. The cause of this was a water main break. Facilities has said that there will some particles in the water due to the break, but they are safe. The water will eventually run clear, and is probably running clear now.

4) Propped doors for common rooms: A resident has recently noted that the door to Building 14, which has one of our common rooms, was propped open. We discussed that doors should not be propped for social events. Propped doors should be closed, due to safety reasons to protect residents living in the building. The committee will continue to monitor any door propping, and will contact the community about the safety risks if door propping continues. For now, we will not e-mail the community to avoid spamming residents, since students already receive a lot of e-mail.

5) Yoga Class: A previous monthly poll revealed that the community was interested in starting a Yoga Class. Allison, our President, put together a proposal and was able to secure a small amount of funds from the University for the purpose of having a yoga instructor come to our community rooms. There are some yoga instructors that have already been associated with the University through Campus Recreation. We will contact these instructors to get a few quotes for the class. Since the class has a small budget, residents will have to bring their own mats. The class is likely to be taught in the Building 14 common room, which has a space that is more amenable to a group activity since it does not have a large pillar in the center of it. We will soon poll residents regarding a time to run the yoga class.

6) Opt-in mailing list for community: A resident from our community has proposed that we start a “Lawrence Chat” e-mail listserv. The listserv would be an “opt-in” situation, meaning that residents would have to ask to subscribe to it. The purpose of the listserv would be a space for residents to informally connect with one another, and to increase community. For example, if a resident needed to borrow a cup of sugar or an egg, the resident could ask his or her neighbors on this listserv.

  1. Opinions: The committee members noted that additional email from this listserv might be unwelcome for many residents, since they already receive so much e-mail. Moreover, there are many other ways in which residents can connect with one another, such as through the Lawrence Committee events, the Lawrence Facebook group, and other social graduate student groups. There are also many support groups open to graduate students, including Tigers with Cubs. Committee members felt that since there was little interest in the Facebook group already, there is not likely to be much interest in the Lawrence Chat listserv. One committee member did note that with a listserv, residents may not be able to see the few number of members (which they can see on Facebook) and so maybe more residents are likely to join a listserv if they don’t know that it is not popular, which could be a way for the listserv to gain popularity.
  2. One-month Trial: The committee has agreed to do a one-month trial run of the Lawrence Chat listserv. The listserv will be run by our committee Webmaster, since the purpose is to increase community in Lawrence and those goals are aligned with the committee purpose. Once the listserv is created, all residents will be e-mailed about how to join the listserv. During the trial month, our webmaster will monitor how many people join the listserv, and how active the listserv is. If the listserv is a success, it will persist. If the listserv has very few members with little chatting, it will be disbanded at the end of the month.
  3. General Communication: We discussed the issue that spouses of students might feel isolated from the campus community, and so the committee will send an e-mail to residents reminding them of the various ways that they can connect to their neighbors in addition to the new listserv, including but not limited to our Facebook group, our Lawrence Residents listserv, PTENS emergency alert systems, and groups such as Tigers with Cubs. As a general note, the Lawrence Committee will never forward e-mails from the University. These e-mails are sent by organizations that are outside of us, and those organizations should be responsible for distributing their own e-mails. Also, residents receive so much e-mail that it is best to not overcrowd inboxes.

7) Social Event: On February 16th at 8pm, the Lawrence Committee will host a hot chocolate event. The event will involve drinking hot chocolate provided by the committee, along with a “bar” with treats to add to your hot chocolate, such as whipped cream, shaved chocolate, marshmallows, etc. There will also be puzzles and other games to play at the event. The Lawrence 14 Common room will be reserved from 7-10pm for the event. We will check the budget for the event, but will try to keep the event within $100 cost.

8) Monthly Poll: We will send a poll to help schedule yoga later in the month.