February 2021 meeting minutes

On February 9th, 2021 the Lawrence Committee held a regularly scheduled meeting. The following are the minutes of that meeting:

  • It was decided that the minutes sent to the residents will highlight important information with a link to the full minutes on the website.
  • Deepen (committee president) will create a to-do list that will be shared with the committee to keep track of all the tasks.
  • Deepen (committee president) will e-mail Transportation and put in a formal request for a weekday shopper.
  • Saumyashree (facilities manager) will use Housing’s contacts to access a closet where it is suspected that there may be snow shovels stored. Copies of the keys will be distributed to Kevin Fleming (Housing), Saumyashree(facilities manager) and Deepen (president). If shovels can be found then they will be left in common spaces throughout Lawrence (after being marked with bright paint) for the use of the residents. If not, then an order will be placed with housing, who as agreed to shoulder the expense.
  • Deepen (president) will compile information as to how residents can collect and distribute furniture from residents moving out. Yunxiu (external relations delegate) will contact the university administrator to see if we can hold a furniture giveaway at Lawrence like the undergrads do.
  • Liz (gardening coordinator) will contact Housing and how to create good laminated signs for the outdoor garden and will continue to monitor repair of the shed.
  •  Saumyashree (facilities manager) will get in touch with Housing and the Office of Sustainibility to acquire materials that can be posted by the composting or e-mailed to the residents on how to compost properly.
  • Noam (secretary) will organize the FAQ page on the website and improve its interface.
  • Noam (secretary) will include in the minutes a link to this document on health and safety guidelines at Lawrence.
  • Nastya (social chair) will get in contact with Housing and the Graduate School for guidelines on how to organize social events.
  • Yunxiu (external relations delegate) will look into organizing outdoor recreational events in the spring.
  • Yunxiu (external relations delegate) will be in contact with Housing and get an estimate for piano tuning, though this is low urgency as it will be unusable until the pandemic is over.

In attendance:

  • Deepen Garg
  • Chadi Saad-Roy
  • Nastya Karpova
  • Yunxiu Zhou
  • Saumyashree Ghosh
  • Liz Helfenberger
  • Noam Reich
  • Kevin Fleming
  • Kenneth Paulaski
  • Margaret Shea

Addendum:

The committee received the following information from the University’s Transportation services office:

“The first thing we did in response to higher demand on the last weekend of January was to immediately introduce more vehicles on the first weekend of February—so we’ve now got 6 of the 20-passenger vehicles servicing the shopper route every 20 minutes on weekends (50% service increase). Drivers are going to need to enforce a 50% capacity rule on those buses, but we’re going to be flexible with trailer vehicles and communication between drivers so that we’re getting a vehicle to students as soon as possible that may not be able to board on a specific trip. Hoping that impact is very low given the extra service we’ve already implemented.

I am in the middle of reviewing some potential service changes based on the ridership we’ve seen the past couple weeks. Our team just needs another two weeks or so, and we can get back to you and other graduate student organizations on what we can and can’t do to help further reduce some of the strain on the weekend shopper. There are some other service plan considerations we’re working through at the moment, including bringing on bigger vehicles.”

January Meeting Minutes

The following are the minutes from the January Lawrence Committee Meeting held on January 12th, 2021.

  • Officer Sean Ryder from public safety was in attendance and discussed programs run by public safety and answered questions from residents. 
  • Saumyashree Ghosh, the facilities manager, has contacted facilities and put in a request to change the lock to the computer room in Lawrence 14 so that it can be opened with the “H1” key. Until then, residents can open the room by using access code 5827.
  • A virtual social event will be hosted by the Lawrence committee in either late February or early March and another in-person, socially-distanced outdoor event will be hosted later in the spring semester. 
  • After a long discussion with both housing and public safety, there is no institutional solution to disappearing shopping carts. We are therefore appealing to your goodwill, our fellow Lawrentines, and asking that you please return carts as soon as you are done using them. 
  • There were complaints that composting bins have disappeared and that they lack signs for what can be disposed of in them. The committee will investigate.
  • The door of the garden shed is in need of repair, the committee will move forward on securing funds for the repair.

In attendance:

  • Chadi Saad-Roy
  • Liz Helfenberger
  • Sean Ryder
  • Anne Kohlbrenner
  • Noam Reich
  • Victoria Larsen
  • Deepen Garg
  • Kevin Fleming
  • Nastya Karpova
  • Saumyashree Ghosh

Best,
Lawrence Committee

Minutes of December Committee Meeting

The following are the minutes from the Lawrence Committee Meeting, held on Tuesday December 8th, 2020:

  • The results of the Lawrence Committee elections are as follows:
    • President: Deepen Garg
    • Vice President: Chadi Saad-Roy
    • Secretary: Noam Reich
    • External Relations Delegate: Yunxiu Zhou
    • Social Chair: Nastya Karpova
    • Garden Coordinator: Liz Helfenberger
    • Facilities Manager: Saumyashree Ghosh
  • Various ongoing issues were brought up for the new committee
    • Laundry: It was suggested to revive the idea to make them free permanently
    • Missing Packages: Different carriers have different ways of delivering which makes it more difficult to standardize package delivery; cameras cannot be used because of privacy concerns; it was suggested to look into having package lockers
  • University is looking into the distribution of covid tests to residents more efficiently
  • It was suggested to change the monthly Lawrence committee meeting to the third week of the month so that it can follow the monthly GSG meeting and hence have more relevant input from the latter
  • University is still looking to the issue of golf balls, but no major progress has been reported
  • Noam will ask OIT to grant us a new email address for the election committee
  • Deepen will elaborate further on a possible ticketing system in the next meeting
  • It was suggested that the committee should try to encourage  more student-led activities for which the graduate school can provide some funding.
  • It was suggested that the streetlights are not enough on Alexander Road between Faculty Road and Dinky station, and the university should be asked to look into this further.
  • Roll Call
    • Amit Halevi
    • Chadi Saad-Roy
    • Kendra Bergstedt
    • Liz Helfenberger
    • Noam Reich
    • Chris Tokita
    • Nastya Karpova
    • Saumyashree Ghosh
    • Yunxiu Zhou
    • Kathy Ingram
    • Audrey Zhu
    • Valentina Nolli 
    • Kevin Fleming
    • Kenneth Paulaski
    • Deepen Garg

November Committee Meeting

The following are the minutes from the November Lawrence Committee meeting, held on November 10th, 2020:

  • Chadi will talk to GSG about the threat of injury from stray golf balls coming from the golf course to our community
  • Residents are requested to report any event of golf ball incoming here
  • The committee is thinking of asking the university to not mow the lawn or blow the leaves before 10 am. If you would like to suggest any other time, please let us know before Nov 24.
  • We are in communication with the university to see if they will upgrade the air filters from MERV8 to MERV12 or MERV13.
  • We have put up signs in laundry rooms to remind people to keep the doors open when not in use.
  • Noam has updated the Lawrence website. If you have any suggestions for the website, please let us know so that we can incorporate it.
  • The garden will close for the season on Nov 15 for most of the residents (unless you are approved for the winter season).
  • We will most likely have our first social event of the semester in the first week of December.
  • Chris will check the committee budget to see if it was indeed topped up
  • We will have elections for the Lawrence Committee in the coming weeks with the final deadline for voting and counting done during the next committee meeting in December on Dec 8. Amit Halevi and Chris Tokita (Chair) have agreed to be on the election committee and are looking for one more volunteer from the community who is not planning to run for any position on the Lawrence Committee. Please email us if you are interested.
  • The election committee will send more details about the election in a few days.
  • Roll
    • Noam Reich
    • Deepen Garg
    • Chadi Saad-Roy
    • Richard Gagliardi
    • Chris Tokita
    • Liz Helfenberger
    • Saumyashree
    • Nastya Karpova
    • Kendra Bergstedt
    • Rachel Young
    • Kathy Ingram
    • Audrey Zhu
    • Samuel Yee
    • Yunxiu Zhou
    • Juan D. Riquezes

October Committee Meeting

The following are the minutes from the Lawrence Committee’s October meeting, held on October 13, 2020:

  • Residents are advised to break the boxes before putting them in the recycling bins. Also please do not add plastic bags and Styrofoam in them.
  • Chris will put up signs in Lawrence 1 laundry to keep the doors open after being done with the washers and dryers.
  • Amit will ask OIT to see if they can keep some paper and toner in the computer rooms
  • Residents are encouraged to also use websites like Tiger Trade to give away the big items
  • All air filters in buildings 8-14 have been upgraded to MERV 8 filters. Buildings 1-7 do not have air filters since they are a closed system (hot water fin tube heat system). We are also in talks with the university administration regarding the possibility of upgrading them further.
  • The committee is in talks with the administration regarding the golf balls to see what can be done to prevent them coming into Lawrence Complex
  • Unfortunately, we cannot organize Halloween this year because of the ongoing pandemic restrictions. Residents are advised to check the current university guidelines before organizing any outdoor event. You can also look into NJ Halloween guidelines for a safer celebration. 
  • Garden will officially close on Nov 15
  • Noam (the Webmaster) will finish updating the website by Oct 30.
  • Please do not burn wood in the barbeque areas. You should burn only charcoal and clean up after using them. Lack of compliance with fire-prevention measures lead to fire hazards and can possibly lead to the closure of all the barbeque areas.

September Committee Meeting

The following are the Lawrence Committee Meeting minutes from the meeting held on Tuesday, Sep 8, 2020:

  • Outdoor Yoga/Fitness
    • We are exploring the option of having a possible outdoor yoga weekly session but it involves a lot of moving pieces and cannot be promised at this moment.
    • Dillon gym is open now.
    • People can always exercise outside while making sure that they keep distance from the passerbys and clean up after themselves
  • Social
    • We will have our first event in October and it will be something like Zoom murder mystery game.
    • We will notify the residents with more details closer to the date. Funds will be required to buy the game but it is supposed to be significantly less than what would be required for an in-person event. Richard will send an estimate to Amit and Chris soon.
  • GSG update
    • Residents have continued to raise concern about the fact that laundry is coin operated.
    • Also residents are encouraged to look into funds available at GSG for events related to student life. You can find more details here.
  • Garden
    • Sustained interest in gardening this season with sign-ups happening through August as well.
    • Kendra is looking into starting a new season for fall-winter season. She will look into it more and let the committee know more details once the plan is further finalized.
  • Roll Call
    • Robin Lee
    • Ariel Bronner
    • Alisa Sopova
    • Terance Schuh
    • Molly Brennan
    • Michael Smith
    • Robert Wagner (and their spouse)
    • Samuel Yee
    • Audrey Zhu
    • Amit Halevi
    • Chris Tokita
    • Richard Gagliardi
    • Chadi Saad-Roy
    • Noam Reich
    • Kendra Bergstedt
    • Deepen Garg

June Meeting Minutes

The following are the minutes for the Lawrence committee meeting held on Tuesday June 9th

  • The next committee meeting will be in September. However given the special times we are in, the committee will be ready to meet during July as well as August if required.
  • The proposed amendment  to the constitution is passed with all the residents and committee members present in favor along with Amit Halevi’s in absentia vote in favor.
  • Residents are strongly advised to use the carts only to transport their items and then return the carts after using them. We found one cart in the Dinky parking lot and one at the dumpsters of Building 1 with discarded items (including a microwave) in it! Please do not abuse the carts since it seriously hampers the ability of other residents to use them. Also they are (surprisingly) expensive and having to replace them would potentially eat into our budget and ability to have fun social events.
  • Garden updates
    • There have been some problems sourcing bunny repellant for the garden. Kendra will continue to look into this.
    • The two doors to the sheds need to be replaced. However, the expected expense will be more than the funds collected from the garden fees. Kendra will write up a budget report to request funds from the committee funds and present it to the committee later.
  • Housing updates
    • At the end of the month, Michael Hebditch will move to another role for the new University Services Customer Service Center. Please use askhousing@princeton.edu for any housing related queries until somebody else fills up his role.
    • For now, the housing department is waiting for university’s guidelines for fall semester (hopefully by July). University may set the restrictions at the level of the state guidance or even stricter than those depending upon the university needs
  • Roll Call
    • Christopher Tokita
    • Kendra Bergstedt 
    • Noam Reich
    • Michael Hebditch
    • Kevin Fleming
    • Deepen Garg

May Committee Meeting

Below are the notes from the last committee meeting held on May 12, 2020.

Lawrence Committee Meeting
Tuesday, May 12 2020

  • Roll Call
    • Amit Halevi
    • Chris Tokita
    • Kendra Bergstedt
    • Richard Gagliardi
    • Chadi Saad-Roy
    • Noam Reich
    • Michael Hebditch
    • Kevin Fleming
    • Deepen Garg
  • No objection to the amendment. We will send out the proposed amendment text today for the community to analyze it. We will hold the vote for passing the amendment at the next committee meeting
  • Garden updates
    • The garden finally has water supply; the gardening season has begun, and the signups are going smoothly
    • We strongly encourage people to use the time-signup form to book time slots. Failure to follow these directives can lead to the closure of the garden. We have been able to open the garden only under the provision of proper social distancing
  • Social Events update
  • We will organize a virtual movie night; we will show Incredibles 2 this Friday through Netflix viewing party app. We’ll send out the details later today
  • Housing update
    • Laundry is free to use (no quarters required) until the end of June
    • Housing is aware of the various problems pertaining to the contracts and trying to figure out the solutions and various constraints like the status of incoming students. Please contact Housing for your special case
    • No cancellation fee for cancelling your contracts. Summer housing is available in GC and annexes
    • Contact Sarah Major (smajor@princeton.edu) for finding off campus housing. In some off-campus places, it might even be possible to get one month rent waived. Some landlords are also letting the prospective tenants see the apartment through Skype/Zoom
    • As a reminder, campus storage and moving services are available for students
    • We can’t 100% guarantee that someone else will not stay in your apartment. But practically it is very unlikely
    • Housing can stop collecting the rent from a student only from the date of notification to Housing or for when the moving services are booked. It cannot be applied retroactively to when you left the campus.
  • The results from the Lawrence housing survey have been shared with the administration and we will also share them with the GSG.
  • No GSG updates
  • The email account for the Lawrence Committee from Microsoft to Google
  • We will put up some signs for people to follow common courtesy measures

April Committee Meeting

Below are the notes from the last committee meeting held on April 21, 2020.

Lawrence Committee Meeting
Tuesday, April 21 2020

  • The Alexander bridge construction work is scheduled to be completed “during the week of May 4, weather and COVID permitting”
  • We have proposed amendments to the Lawrence constitution regarding the committee composition. The final text of the amendment will be sent to the residents in about 2 weeks
  • Gardening update
    • We sent the signup email last week, and around 28 people have signed up so far
    • Facilities needs to come and turn on the water, but it is not sure when they will be able to do it due to low staff. The last estimate was last Thursday, 4/23 but so far the work order is still open. Michael from Housing will look into this and see if he can do anything from his end
  • Housing update
    • There is a lot of uncertainty amidst the pandemic, but the housing department is trying their best to support the students affected by Covid-19. The room draw and summer housing is planned to continue on their regular schedule
    • The form for housing extension request (due to academic reasons and other extenuating circumstances) can be found on the housing website and is due May 1
    • We have set up a google form (optionally anonymous) for people who would like to share their situation. We will forward these testimonials to the housing department. This will help them gauge the ground situation more accurately. The form can be found here
    • We will also let Lakeside and GSG know about this form so that they can do something similar from their end if they deem it appropriate
  • Social Events
    • No second in-person event this semester
    • We will look into virtual events, possibly a movie watching party or a game
  • GSG update
    • GSG meetings are happening and much of the discussion is focused on pandemic. Residents are also encouraged to join GSG’s Slack (gsgglobalworkspace.slack.com) as well as Lawrence channel on the GSG slack
    • In the last meeting, renovations to Dillon gym were also discussed. Residents who have any concerns or suggestions are encouraged to let us or directly the GSG know
  • Roll
    • Rachel Young
    • Lina Abushouk
    • Amit Halevi
    • Chris Tokita
    • Kendra Bergstedt
    • Richard Gagliardi
    • Chadi Saad-Roy
    • Noam Reich
    • Deepen Garg