November 2016 Meeting Minutes

In attendance:

  • Matt King
  • Xiaoyu Tang
  • Anna Mostafavi
  • Emilce Santana
  • Joey Vella
  • Sarah James
  • Sam Richter
  • Olivia Martel
  • Michael Howard
  • Katja Hyvarinen
  • Donghun Lee
  • Renato Pagliara
  • Julia Wittes

Lawrence Committee Election:

  • December 13, our next meeting.
  • Need an election committee of people who are not running or related to people who are running. We are still in need of at least one more person.
  • Currently we have Dominic and Joey
  • Olivia: Maybe we can write to GSG and see if one of their members will serve.


Alexander Road lighting upgrade

  • Will happen this semester – Olivia will let us know if there is any more news


Update on car part theft

  • Our contact at Public Safety says there are no additional thefts since the last report
  • Some other campuses in the area also had thefts
  • Public Safety believes that the parties involved have been apprehended


Planning for Nov 10 game night

  • Lawrence 14 common room; 7-9 pm
  • Joey will email Burcin to discuss how much to budget
  • A number of people at the meeting have games that they have offered to bring
  • Hot cocoa, cookies, chips – cap of $150
  • DBar may be able to lend us some games

We also need to discuss planning another event – has to happen by January.

Packages going missing

  • Several students have contacted the committee about packages that have gone missing. The Lawrence Committee’s policy is to not email residents about individual missing packages except under special circumstances.
  • Is there a place where students can send important or very expensive items other than to their Lawrence addresses?
    • Julia: We are not permitted to send personal items to our labs in my department (Molecular Biology)
    • Packages can be sent to E-Quad
    • Would it be possible for packages to be sent to the campus mailroom? This has been brought up before but the request was denied as the campus mailroom is already at capacity. The Porter’s lodge also is at capacity.
      • However, Olivia will look into it.

Lawrence Listservs:

  • Julia will include instructions on subscribing spouses/partners to listservs in the next email.



October 2016 Meeting Minutes

In attendance

  • Ana Mostafavi
  • Sam Richter
  • Emilce Santana
  • Olivia Martel
  • Joey Vella
  • Julia Wittes
  • Sarah James

Car part theft

  • According to Public Safety, three catalytic converters were stolen from cars within the span of a week this month at Lawrence. We believe that the cars affected were Hondas and perhaps an Acura.
  • Security – what can be done?
    • Olivia will ask Public Safety if they will consider increasing patrols at Lawrence.
  • The University cannot cover the cost of the repair but the Grad School may be able to provide a loan to Graduate Students who are affected by this kind of theft.

Fall Social Event

  • Joey will check to see how many responses we have to our poll. We will go with the two most popular options.
  • We will decide by email on the date and begin planning.

Funding application to the Graduate School for spring programming

  • Tabled until next committee is elected

Potential purchase of carpet cleaning machine

  • A resident requested that the Lawrence committee purchase a carpet cleaning machine.
  • In the past, we had some vacuums, but it wasn’t clear where they would be kept, who would keep them, mind them, and repair them.
  • Carpet cleaners are very expensive and large; we don’t know where to store it and how we could repair it. It doesn’t seem feasible to us.
  • We do know a Lawrence resident who has a carpet shampooing attachment for his vacuum – we could perhaps put interested residents in touch.
  • Would Facilities be able to clean carpets for a fee? Olivia will ask them.


  • Held at our December meeting each year
  • We must notify the community at least one month prior to the election
  • Need an election committee of 3 Lawrence residents who will not be running in the election; they will manage the logistics of the election
    • Joey can be on the committee but we need to find two other residents.
  • If we can’t find anyone, we will advertise by email. We believe that serving on the election committee is maybe a 5-hour commitment tops, spread out over 6 weeks.


  • Our old website (which Julia doesn’t have access to and can’t edit) will be removed.


  • The new season begins in the Spring – we will be in touch with residents then.
  • Garden cleanout will happen – they are removing large plants from the summer.
  • Sam is managing the composters
    • Possibly fall leaf collection?
  • Non-gardeners who want to compost
    • New committee can discuss whether we can do this

September 2016 Meeting Minutes


  • Joey Vella
  • Sarah James
  • Jessica Dunville
  • Ana Mostafavi
  • Jared Balaich
  • Jane Balaich
  • Olivia Martel
  • Matt King
  • Xiaoyu Tang
  • Emilce Santana
  • Julia Wittes

Lawrence Playground issues

  • One resident saw another resident letting their dog go to the bathroom in the sandbox. Facilities is replacing the sand and will put up signs at the playground indicating that pets are not permitted inside.
  • The playground by Karin court has been reported to have problems with litter; however, the University does not have jurisdiction over this playground.
  • Cigarette butts by playgrounds – Olivia will ask Chris Warkala at Facilities to look into adding more smokers’ posts and we will remind residents in our next email not to leave butts around, as kids can eat them.

Lawrence welcome BBQ, Sept 27

  • Event will be hosted by the Grad School and begins at 5:30 pm
  • The event is intended for Lawrence residents and will be catered by Business Bistro
  • Residents will be encouraged to bring towels and beach chairs
  • Committee members will arrive at ~5 pm to help set up and will also circulate and meet residents.

Social events

  • The Lawrence Committee hosts two social events each semester
  • Ideas
    • Halloween pumpkin painting (small pumpkins)
    • Halloween movie screening (ie. Young Frankenstein?)
    • Cookie decorating event (or cookies + movie)
    • Thanksgiving event – although probably not on Thanksgiving day as most Committee members will be away.
    • Game night or puzzles
  • In our monthly poll we will ask residents which events they would prefer

Application for funding for yoga classes (or other classes)

  • Do we apply now for the entire year or only for the semester? Olivia will look into it.
  • Should we do yoga or another activity that residents expressed interest in in last year’s survey?
  • If we do yoga – who will be the point person on the committee?
  • Will we do classes in the fall or only in the spring?
  • There was more interest last year than could be accommodated – we heard that it was frustrating for people to only get one class. 53 people signed up for yoga last year

University Services meeting this week – Xiaoyu will present on Lawrence

  • The meeting will include GSG Executive Board members and higher level administrators from Public Safety, Housing and Real Estate Services, the Graduate School and more.
  • Points to bring up
    • Lighting upgrades on Alexander road south of Faculty?
    • No path in Lawrence parking lot to western buildings in Lawrence (ie. Building 1); have to walk through parking lot
    • Golf balls
    • Lawrence Chat – not used much so far, but residents are happy to have it

Other miscellaneous issues

  • Laundry room has sign about clothing donation at Butler – this is out of date – we will look into having it removed
  • There seem to be two Lawrence Committee websites – Julia will look into merging sites.
  • Painting lines in Lawrence parking lots
    • Perhaps traffic cones could be used to clear spots that need to be painted
    • October might be a good time to do work?
  • We will write an email to new residents and include:
    • Info on community rooms at Lawrence
    • Let residents know we don’t have a lost and found – lost items to go Public Safety.
    • Bike info
      • Decals, registration, locks
    • How and when to contact facilities
    • How to subscribe spouse or partner to lawrence-res
    • Pets forbidden in playground

Open forum:

  • Shopping carts – used to have problems with them missing – no complaints so far this semester
    • Signs have maybe been helpful?

April 2016 Committee Minutes


  • Lauren Anllo
  • Joey Vella
  • Allison Chaney
  • Sara Johnson
  • Olivia Martell
  • Xiaoyu Tang
  • Julia Wittes
  • Burcin Cakir

Topics of Discussion:

  1. BBQ Planning: Late in the Spring semester, the Lawrence Committee hosts an outdoor barbecue event for all residents. Our current social chair has one of our previous barbecue budgets to help with planning items to purchase.
    1. We would like to pick a date for the event that will allow as many graduate students as possible to attend – preferably at a time after major academic commitments have ended and before students travel
    2. The Committee plans to send out a survey to residents to vote on a date for the event, with choices being May 5th, May 12th, and May 19th. Be on the lookout for the community survey to give your input!
  1. Temporary Elections for the Fall Semester: Some of our current Lawrence Committee members may be graduating in the coming months. Once the Fall Semester arrives, the Committee will assess whether any positions are vacant, and will discuss a temporary election to fill vacant spots for the Fall semester. This election will be meant to temporarily fill spots until the yearly elections are done in December or January. Expect more information in September.
  1. Clothing Swap Event Idea: One of our residents has thought it might be a nice idea to have a clothing swap. This event would involve residents bringing gently used clothing to share with other residents. We have discussed this idea, and practical ways to make it come to fruition.
    1. Pros and Cons: This event is great for sustainability, and for building community. However, our community space is very small and may not accommodate the event. This event may need to be an outdoor activity with a rain date. Alternatively, both community rooms could be used simultaneously, if multiple residents were interested in staffing the event. In order to prevent the issue of clean up after the event, we would need to arrange for a local charity to come and collect remaining clothing on the day of the event.
    2. Possible Conjunction with GSG Furniture Drive: Every year during Reunions, the GSG hosts a Furniture Drive in one of the reunions tents. At this drive, used furniture, clothing, cooking items, etc are sold for very cheap prices. Anyone wishing to donate to the event can leave items in the tents. It is possible that instead of having a clothing swap, we could encourage residents to use the Furniture Drive. Alternatively, if the Clothing Swap were to coincide with the Furniture Drive, any leftover clothing could be taken to the Furniture Drive to be picked up by charity with the leftover Furniture Drive items.
    3. Ideas for Event Rules: In order to prevent a large quantity of items being left behind after the event, we can ask residents to sign up for the event, and to stay at the event and socialize for about an hour. If the residents’ items that they bring are not taken at the Clothing Swap, the residents who bring these items should take them back home with them. Residents can choose to bring food to share at the event, but alcohol is not permitted unless the event is staffed by someone from the University.
    4. Role for the Committee: Resident volunteers will run this event and manage set up and clean up. The Lawrence Committee will manage advertising for the event to the community.
  1. Lawrence Yoga: Lawrence Yoga has held two sessions so far. Many residents were interested in participating (>40 residents). Currently, cold weather requires that class sessions are held indoors, mandating that classes be limited in size to 10 residents. These 10 residents are randomly chosen each week from the list of interested individuals. Once the weather gets warmers, we intend to hold classes outside, and to invite all interested residents.
    1. Attendance: The first class was very well attended, but only 3 people attended the second class. The reason for low attendance was that the randomly selected individuals could not come to the class. In the event that a resident is selected to attend but is busy, this resident MUST find a substitute to attend the class, in order to be fair to the other interested residents. Hopefully, these attendance issues will improve once classes are held outside.
    2. Continuation of Yoga Next Semester?: This class is a trial. Additional funding was requested by the Lawrence Committee to see if this event would spark interest and increase community. We are hoping that the trial goes well, and if it does, we will find out how to go about obtaining this same funding next year.
  1. Garden: The garden is open, and people have signed up and received their plots. There are currently 29 plots allocated, and more room is available.
    1. Lock: The lock on the garden does not adequately keep the gate closed. Our garden coordinator will put a chain on this lock, so that it can link both doors together and prevent thefts in the garden.
    2. Gardeners from Princeton, outside Lawrence: Since more room is available in our garden, some individuals who would like to garden at Lakeside, but who cannot obtain plots, will be allowed to obtain plots in our community garden at Lawrence. It is possible that we may consider gardening requests from post docs at Princeton as well.
  1. News from the External Princeton Groups:
    1. GSG Meeting: The GSG held their annual elections. A survey was sent out asking about housing in general. This survey is very short and takes only 10 min, and is very useful. Residents should participate in the survey
    2. GHAB Meeting: There will be some updates made with the room draw process. Furthermore, new grad students may have a unified check in at the Grad College going forward.
    3. Grad Student Events: the GC Spring Formal is April 23rd, and Tiger Fest is April 30th (similar to Spring Festival)
    4. Truck Fest: This is an event in which Food Trucks park on Prospect Street. The GSG is giving out some free tickets to Graduate Students on a first come, first serve basis. Some trucks that will be present sell items such as donuts, tacos, and pizza.
    5. Community Bikes: Zagster bike share has been installed throughout the campus. One station is in Lawrence Apartments in front of Building 8.

General Reminder for Move out and Cleaning: Unfortunately, there are no community vacuums in Lawrence. If you need to borrow a vacuum, ask your neighbor! You can link up with your neighbors on Facebook, or on our Lawrence Chat listserv.


Join us on social media!

Facebook: Lawrence Apartments @ Princeton               E-mail:



Subscribing to Listservs

Want to connect with other Lawrence residents? All graduate students living in Lawrence should be automatically subscribed to receive emails from the Lawrence Committee (via the Lawrence-res listserv). If you live in Lawrence but are not a Princeton graduate student, you can subscribe to any of the four current Lawrence listservs using the instructions below.

Also, new in 2016 is our Lawrence-chat listserv. The easiest way to subscribe to any list is by visiting the ListServ subscriber management dashboard. More detailed/technical instructions from OIT here.

Listserv names:

  • Lawrence-res
  • Lawrence-chat
  • Lawrence-garden
  • lawrencepets
Posted in Uncategorized

March Meeting Minutes


  • Lauren Anllo
  • Burcin Cakir
  • Xiaoyu Tang
  • Julia Wittes
  • Sarah James
  • Allison Chaney
  • Joey Vella
  • Olivia Martel

Discussed Items

  1. Instagram: The Graduate School is on Instagram. You can check out pictures of the Lawrence Committee meeting on the Grad School Instagram.
  1. LawrenceChat Listserv: We discussed the status of this new listserv that we have been piloting this month. The purpose of the listserv is to allow residents to connect via e-mail to build community. Potential uses of the listserv include organizing small social events with neighbors, asking to borrow an item, or asking a question about Lawrence in a social setting.
  1. Time required: Setting up the listserv took a lot of time, but maintenance requires less of a time commitment.
  2. Usefulness: Currently, about 20 people are on the listserv, and 5 messages have been sent this month. These messages have concerned a question about insects outside of the buildings, borrowing a car jack, and similar issues.
  3. Policies and Conclusions: The committee will not intervene with issues discussed on the listserv unless they are of a serious nature. The listserv seems like it is useful right now, and we will allow it to continue without considering its continuation a “trial” period. If the listserv maintenance becomes a burden, or if the discussions become inappropriate or not useful, the Committee reserves the right to shut down the listserv.
  1. Laundry:
    1. Building 10: This laundry facility is only open for certain hours during the day, and shuts down at night. The hours of use that are posted in the Laundry room conflict with the hours that are posted on our website. We are looking into what the actual hours of this laundry facility are so that the correct hours are posted.
    2. Building 1: Often, the back door to this laundry room is found propped open. Residents often close the door if they see it propped, only to return to the laundry room to find the door again propped open. Propping the door causes the room to become uncomfortably cold, and also allows people who do not live in Lawrence Apartments to have access to our laundry facilities. We are looking into whether it would be possible to install an alarm on this back door to prevent it from being propped open inappropriately.
  1. Garden: Since the Spring weather is approaching, residents are interested in starting use of the garden facilities for the 2016 season. Our garden coordinator is going to find out when the garden will be tilled so that use can begin.
    1. Lakeside gardeners: It is currently unclear when the Lakeside garden will open for residents to use. Lakeside gardeners would like to be offered the option of using garden plots at Lawrence. Our garden coordinator will give priority of plots to Lawrence residents, and if there are remaining plots, Lakeside residents will be offered the option of using these.
    2. Plot applications: Within the next couple of weeks, our garden coordinator, Sarah, will send out instructions for how to apply for use of a garden plot. Claiming a plot will involve an online, and an in-person procedure, to ensure that potential gardeners actually use the plots that are given to them. Plots that are not used create a problem of weeds, so we would like to ensure as much use of the garden as possible.
    3. Tilling: Sarah will mark off the perennial corner of the garden to avoid tilling of this region. 
  1. Events and Budgeting: Our hot cocoa event was well attended and enjoyed! We consider the execution of this event a success.
    1. BBQ: Our next event is likely to be our annual community BBQ in the Spring. We are in the process of finding an appropriate time to have the Lawrence BBQ.
    2. Budget planning: If our budget allows after the BBQ, we would like to have our community piano tuned, and/or check the status of any needed garden supplies.
  1. Lawrence Yoga: We have external funds, secured by our President, allowing us to have community yoga classes. All Lawrence residents are welcome to participate in yoga. Since this class is meant to be a community-building club, we are restricting participation to Lawrence residents only. In the near future, we will send a survey asking for times that are best for residents interested in participating in Lawrence Yoga.
  1. External Events News: Our GSG representative has presented news from the GSG meeting and the GHAB (Graduate Housing Advisory Board) meeting.
  1. GSG News: This month, Dale Trevino spoke about diversity in the Graduate School. Also, the GSG is in the process of drafting a survey about Princeton graduate housing in general to ask about its use. The survey is designed to be a short, branching survey, and is expected to be informative concerning all graduate housing.
  2. GHAB News: This month, hardship housing applications were reviewed.

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.