Lawrence Committee Meeting May 9 2017

Golf Course:

  • New net has been put up
  • Golf course will let us know about any additional measure they have taken in regards to this matter
  • Netting around the children’s playground is being investigated by the University as well.

Parking lots during events:

  • To prevent non-residents from using our parking lot during reunions, Parking and Transportation has been asked to put up signs at the entrance
  • As well, Lawrence apartments is not listed on any Reunions information as a parking lot for use

Outdoor Yoga:

  • Once the weather warms up we can start outdoor yoga classes at Lawrence
  • Will be open to any resident who wants to participate
  • Hopefully will begin sometime this month (weather permitting)

As a reminder there is a Graduate Housing Summit on Wednesday, May 17th at 5pm-7:30pm in Frist room 302 to discuss issues, questions or suggestions for the housing process and housing in general. Pizza and drinks will be provided.

Lawrence Committee Meeting April 11th

  • Golf course response:
    • Golf course is replacing the net along the driving range
    • The committee is still collecting information about golf ball damage to respond to them.
    • We will also monitor whether there is additional damage once the new net is put up.
    • We are also investigating with the University whether moving the toddler playground to another area in Lawrence is a viable option as well as asking the golf course to put up signage.
  • Bake off
    • Will take place on the 23rd of April starting at 3pm
    • There will be a cookie decorating table for children with icing and sugar cookies provided
    • Voting will be by ballot for the different categories (i.e. best tasting, most creative, etc.)
    • Email will be sent out this week for pre-registration and further information
  • Garden Update:
    • A garden kick-off event is scheduled for this Saturday, April 15th at 9 am to 12 pm. All residents are welcome to come enjoy a donut and learn more about the garden.
    • The garden info meeting and spring clean-up were well attended. Around 50 people are participating so far. Continuing sign-ups are invited and will go to a wait list.
    • Upcoming events include a seed swap and a visit to the university greenhouses.

Lawrence Committee Meeting March 14th

Garden Update:

  • Information and Sign up email will be sent out this week by Sam Richter
  • Information meeting will be held after Spring Break
    • Depending on weather, the garden should be started beginning to mid April
  • Sam is also planning a Saturday morning event with donuts available for gardeners and friends

Bake off Event Planning:

  • Will be held the weekend of April 23rd, Sunday afternoon or evening
  • There will be multiple categories with prizes tbd
  • An email will be sent out 2 weeks in advance asking residents to sign up for the contest
  • There will also be a children’s activity
    • Possibly a decorate your own cookie/cupcake table
  • All baked items will be baked at home and brought to the event

Golf Course Letter Update:

  • Golf Course will be replacing the netting around the driving range
    • Which is being done regardless due to regular maintenance
  • Possible further remedies include: a sign at the golf course reminding players that there is a residence here and to be careful, or emailing all members stating the same thing.

Yoga Update:

  • Will be held every Monday and Wednesday @ 7:30pm, starting March 27th, going until June 15th
  • Will be held in Building 14 common room
  • There will be a separate email sent out with more information as well as a document to sign up for classes.

Bus Schedule issue:

  • We are sending an email to Transportation requesting more bus service from 5-7pm as residents have noticed over crowding on these buses.
    • We will await their response and let residents know.

February Meeting Minutes

Lawrence Committee Meeting February 14th, 2017

  • Golf course issue
    • In response to resident complaints, the committee has written a letter to be sent to the Springdale Golf Course notifying them of the issue of stray golf balls entering the apartment complex.
    • Sam will send a physical copy of letter and Katja will email the letter as well.

Events Planning:

  • Bake off
  • The second social event of the semester will be a bake off held in April.
  • There may be different categories, depending on how many people sign up. One idea is a kids baking category.
  • Residents will be notified about two weeks before the event to sign up
  • Oscar awards show screening
    • The first social event of the semester will be an Oscar awards show screening on Sunday, February 26.
    • The event will feature popcorn, candy, snacks, and drinks. Possibly we will provide scorecards for people to guess winners within each category and give out prizes for correct guesses.
    • Event will be advertised at least a week in advance.

Yoga class:

  • The committee has received funds from the Graduate School to host spring yoga classes. The classes are planned to begin indoors after Spring Break and then to move outdoors when the weather is nice enough.
  • We need to confirm instructor availability
    • Send instructor email regarding dates/times.


  • The garden sign ups for next spring’s garden season will begin sometime in March. Sam will put up posters re: sign up for gardening.

Lakeside/Lawrence Shuttle:

  • Recent change to bus schedule where after 5:30pm, the bus runs only every half hour instead of every 15 minutes
  • Some residents have complained that the buses and very crowded because of this.
  • The committee will bring this issue to the attention of appropriate parties.

Excessive doorbell ringing Building 10:

  • Some residents have reported that unknown individuals are repeatedly ringing doorbells to request entrance to Building 10. It is a safety concern if residents are buzzing in unknown individuals.
  • It is likely that these individuals are trying to access the laundry rooms, though Laundry is only for residents of Lawrence Apartments (who all have keys).
  • The committee will post signs reminding residents of buildings with laundry rooms to please exercise their best judgment when buzzing people into the apartment.

Sustainable energy provider:

  • A resident asked if the Lawrence website could be updated with information about using sustainable energy providers in addition to PSE&G. Housing has read the proposed text but raised some issues about the list of sustainable providers provided by the student.
  • The committee is still working to finalize the text for the website.

January Meeting Minutes

Yoga class at Lawrence

  • Application for Yoga to be written
    • Proposal letter to be submitted
  • Class being held inside …outside on nice days?
    • Post to website regarding weather updates for outdoor classes?
  • How to choose who gets classes?
    • Poll to see how many people are interested in yoga first
    • Then give people choices of which dates they would like to attend. If 50 people sign up for yoga and there are 10 classes (with 10 available slots) then each yoga participant could sign up for 2 classes.

Buildings with heating issues

  • Forwarded info to facilities for further information on solution
  • Windows issues
    • Drafty window allowing cold air into apt.

Lawrence apartment photos/update

  • Have photos of old Lawrence buildings as well
  • Ask housing to put photos up of different types of apartments available for students on their website
    • As of right now, no photos of interior of units

Golf Course letter

  • Concerns about golf balls being hit close to playground, and also buildings windows broken, etc.
  • Write letter to golf course
    • A letter has been drafted, which committee members will comment on. Chris Warkala will also review the letter.
    • Testimonial from residents who have been affected by this issue

Social Events

  • Emails about dates, ideas, etc.
  • Funding?
    • Can always ask for more funding from GSG for more events if need be
  • Suggestions:
    • Garden doughnut days
      • Morning doughnuts on Saturday for gardeners and residents
      • Sign for Lawrence gardens area
      • Farmers market for gardeners?

December Meeting Minutes


  • Each candidate presented a statement of up to 90 seconds in length
  • Voting was conducted by secret ballot


  • President: Sarah James
  • Vice President: Burcin Cakir
  • Secretary: Katya Hyvarinen
  • Social Chair: Emilce Santana
  • Webmaster: Julia Wittes
  • Garden Coordinator: Sam Richter
  • GSG Rep: Xiaoyu Tang

Chris Warkala from Housing and Real Estate Services

  • New move-out policy
    • Currently, if one resident of a multi-room apartment moves out, their room is not repainted and cleaned before a new resident moves in.
      • Problem: The last resident to leave a multi-room apartment gets caught with all of the charges for any damage to the apartment by any resident.
    • Starting next semester, if one resident leaves, there will be an inspection and cleaning before the new resident arrives. Also, any resident moving in to a unit will get a room condition form.
    • Question: sometimes the new resident needs to move in on a particular date and can’t be flexible (ie. previous lease ending at the same time as the new one begins.) Can you work with those students so they won’t have a gap in their housing due to the inspection / cleaning process?
      • A: Yes
    • Water quality testing at Lawrence
      • All tests were okay, with any contaminants below the regulatory levels set by the EPA.
      • The test results in full will be posted to the EHS website by the end of the year.
    • Installation of lights along Alexander Road
      • 16 lights are being installed by the University along Alexander Road between Lawrence Drive and Faculty Road. They should be installed by the end of January.
    • Raining golf balls in Lawrence from Springdale golf course
      • Chris advises that the committee compose a letter to the golf course about the problem and he can pass it along.
    • Renewable energy sources
      • A Lawrence resident reports that he was able to switch from PSE&G power to a Green energy provider.

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.


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