Elections for the Lawrence Committee are now open and residents who are students can vote here. Partners and other eligible residents can vote by directly emailing Amber Serrano at firstname.lastname@example.org. The voting will be open until Friday, November 10 at noon (12:00 pm EST). The winners will be announced during the Lawrence Committee meeting to be held on Monday, November 13th, 2023 at 5:30 pm. You may view the Candidate Statements for the election below.
Here are all the candidates, followed below by bios:
President: Hassan Sayed
Secretary: Hannah Rabb
Social Chair: Abby Fergus
Facilities Manager: Josh Lederman
Garden Coordinator: Kimmie Sabsay
Garden Events Manager: Claire Whiting
External Relations Delegate: Katie Wu
Grants Manager: Harry Fetsch
Hi Lawrentines — I’m a G5 in the Econ department who has served as Lawrence Committee president in the past year and as secretary of the committee the year before that. I have lived at Lawrence since 2020.
In my time as president, I’ve overseen a variety of initiatives in and around Lawrence.
First, I created and oversaw the creation of the Lawrence Community survey, which we circulated last winter. This survey was designed to elicit feedback on safety, security, and package delivery around our complex. The survey was taken by around 120 residents, and provided a variety of valuable information to the Committee on the frequency of package misdelivery and theft, support for security cameras, lighting around the complex, severity of golf ball issues, and many other important facets of life in our community. Our committee shared our survey format with the Lakeside committee, who conducted their own community survey. Together with Lakeside, we were able to present many high level findings to the university administration and public safety. Beyond helping inform campus-wide security conversations, a consequence of our survey and the subsequent meetings is that we were able to lobby the university to place wayfinding signage around Lawrence, which is currently being installed. This will help with navigability around the complex, particularly for package and food deliveries.
Second, I initiated the creation of the Lawrence Spouses listserv, which our secretary Hannah finished once she began her term. This has allowed community members and other residents of Lawrence to begin receiving email communications from the committee. This was an issue in the past, since our regular lawrence-res listserv only pulls the emails of contract holders at Lawrence.
Third, I worked with our constitution subcommittee to draft a series of amendments to the Lawrence Constitution — including changes to the structure of our elections and articles of impeachment that will allow for greater accountability for committee members.
If elected president, I would focus the Committee’s efforts on getting a broader sense of what residents want and finding resources to help realize those wants. This could look like sending out another draft of the Lawrence Community survey to reassess safety and security; increasing the amount of social programming in/around our complex; and helping identify tangible investments that improve quality of life for residents. Our committee received a generous budget increase from the Graduate School, which will help make smaller day-to-day improvements easier. Moreover, in the event residents are interested in investments that go beyond the Committee’s power or budgetary discretion — such as electric vehicle stations or new spaces for pets — I am more than willing to help initiate conversations with the graduate school and see what the Committee can do to help the process.
I hope you will give me this opportunity to use my experience with the committee and knowledge of Lawrence to continue serving Lawrence as President. Thank you for reading!
Hi everyone! My name is Hannah, and I have served as the Secretary of the Lawrence Committee for the last year. After living in Lawrence for a year, I ran for Secretary in 2022 with the hopes of using my skills as a policy analyst and my desire to build connections in the community to help steward efforts put forth by Lawrence residents. I am running for reelection because I love working with the Committee to tackle any and all issues that arise in the community.
As Secretary of the Lawrence Committee, I personally read and respond to every inquiry the Committee receives. In addition, I coordinate all of the Committee’s meetings; take all Committee notes; and communicate with the Lawrence community through meeting minutes, Committee announcements, and personal inquiries to the Committee. I have personally written almost every email that has been sent by the Lawrence Committee. This has awarded me a very deep understanding of the inner workings of the Committee and the levers it has to affect change. Because I am so deeply involved in the individual concerns of community members, I have a strong understanding of the ongoing challenges residents face and the avenues available for advocacy.
Issues particularly important to me in my role as Secretary include: conveying important information while managing email bloat, developing resources and guides for everyday life at Lawrence, and building a more connected and welcoming community for all groups including non-student residents. As Secretary, I have worked to minimize some types of emails, while highlighting issues important to residents. I spent time last year developing a few key resources that residents can use as guides/instruction manuals for everyday life in Lawrence. I also manage a separate listserv for non-student residents of Lawrence.
Additionally, over the past year, alongside my fellow Committee members, I assisted in administering a community survey which has ultimately led to the installation of wayfinding maps and the start of a lobbying effort with the Lakeside Committee so that our communities’ concerns about packages and safety would be taken more seriously by the Graduate School and other University leadership.
Moving forward, I will continue to develop ways to improve the Committee’s communication with the community. My goals include developing better advertising for the great resources currently available on the Committee website, administering a community poll on what new types of resources residents would like to see developed and added to the Committee’s arsenal, and ensuring that every single person that lives in Lawrence receives Committee communications. And as a student spouse, I am keenly aware of the need to reach everyone who lives in Lawrence.
I truly enjoy communicating with residents and collaborating with other University Departments to improve the Lawrence community, and I hope I can continue to do so. Thank you for your consideration!
Hi everyone! My name is Abby and I am running for Lawrence Committee Social Chair! I am a first year graduate student in Psychology from Virginia. I decided to run for social chair because I think it’s so important to build community where you live. As social chair, I will plan a wide variety of events for the Lawrence community to allow residents to meet each other and really feel at home in this community. I am also eager to hear suggestions to make sure that the events we host are the ones that serve the entire community. I not only love planning events but I have a lot of experience doing so both formally and informally. In college, I served as hall council president for my residence hall and social chair for several clubs I was a part of where I worked to create events for members to engage with each other and just have fun! Informally, one of my favorite things to do is plan events and parties for my friends and family. Thank you!
Hi everyone! I’m Josh Lederman, and I’ve had the honor of being your Facilities Manager for the past two years. During that time, my priority has been improving the resident experience, with a particular focus on addressing residents’ concerns and improving communication. A few key results of my time as Facilities Manager:
• Added a variety of signage in response to residents’ concerns: notifying residents not to smoke near buildings, clarifying expectations and usage of the Activity Rooms, and providing guidelines for use of the laundry machines
• Acquired an ironing board for Lawrence Residents (Coming Soon!) Expect to see an ironing board available in the Lawrence 1 Laundry Room within the next couple weeks, with an extension to New Lawrence planned
• Acquired snow shovels to help residents’ dig out their cars—they’re in the three dumpster sheds, hopefully they’ll be useful!
• Revamped the Resident Info section of the Lawrence website—check it out here! https://lawrence.princeton.edu. I added significantly more content, fixing outdated information, and reorganized it so residents can better find what they are looking for
• Helped resolve issues small and large via GSG Slack—check it out the Lawrence channel here: https://join.slack.com/t/gsgglobalworkspace/signup
• Worked with residents to submit maintenance requests, following up with Housing to make sure those requests were being handled promptly
• Monitored the laundry room whiteboards and cart availability, looking for issues and resolving them if possible
I’ve learned during my time on the Committee that one of the most important jobs of a Facilities Manager is not fixing the problems you know, but learning about and fixing the urgent problems you’re not yet aware of. I welcome questions, concerns, and feedback from residents—if you have a facilities problem, let me know and I’ll do my best to resolve it. I’m accessible on GSG Slack under my name (Josh Lederman) or by email at email@example.com. Thank you so much for your consideration, and I would greatly appreciate your vote!
Hello fellow Lawrence residents! My name is Kimmie Sabsay and I am a fourth year graduate student in QCB/BPY living in building 14 with my partner and two kitties. I am the current Garden Events Manager and have been working with Liz Helfenberger (our amazing long-time Garden Coordinator) for the past two years helping the Lawrence community garden achieve its greatest potential! I am now excited to be running for the Garden Coordinator position for the upcoming academic year/ garden season. I learned so much from working alongside Liz over the past two years and have a special place in my heart for the garden and the community it fosters. During our time working together, Liz and I have created a new committee position (the Garden Events Manager), purchased a greenhouse to grow seedlings, created numerous communal garden plots, and hosted many social events for both the garden community and the broader Lawrence community. Liz has been instrumental in establishing strong foundations from which the garden can, and will, continue to flourish in the upcoming years. As Liz moves on to a new chapter of her life, I am grateful for her dedication and hope to have the opportunity to continue the legacy. I personally endorse Claire Whiting for the Garden Events Manager and strongly believe she and I are the right team for 2024. The community garden is a beautiful space for graduate students and family to spend time in nature and de-stress. We have had the greatest garden season yet and for the first time ever have utilized the entirety of the garden space. I have several goals for the upcoming garden season, with the main project being to construct a large wooden sign/stand for the entrance to welcome everyone into the garden. The sign would have space to post the map, advertise for upcoming events, and even have attached baskets underneath to put extra veggies/produce that would be free for the broader community to take from. I believe this will help encourage all Lawrence residents to explore and benefit from the garden, whether they choose to garden or not. I also want to continue to expand the communal native garden initiative and host a New Jersey Master Gardener to come share their wisdom about native plants and how to create the happiest little ecosystem we possibly can. I am beyond excited for the next gardening season and hope to serve as your Garden Coordinator alongside Claire Whiting as your Garden Events Manager! Thank you for taking the time to participate in the elections!
Garden Events Manager
Hello! I’m Claire Whiting, a 2nd year graduate student in the Psychology department. I’m excited to run for the position of Garden Events Manager. I have lived in Lawrence for one year now and spent a good amount of time over the past spring/summer in the community garden. It is a beautiful space to spend time outside and watch the flowers and vegetables flourish over the season. One of the really special aspects of gardening is the culture of sharing. This includes sharing our wonderful produce, but also sharing knowledge and experience between members of the community. This includes all Lawrence residents, not just gardeners! As Garden Events Manager, my focus will be on fostering this culture by organizing events that are both educational and celebratory of our shared passion for gardening and nature. I’d like to run gardening-focused events, such as a beginner’s workshop, a seed swap day, and planting days. I’m also very keen to run arts & crafts events for the broader community, such as plant pot decorating, flower pressing, and creating stepping stones (the ones from this past year turned out great!). Depending on interest, I would love to run a potluck picnic where people bring dishes that include ingredients from the garden. I want to make sure that events resonate with the community’s interests and will always be open to feedback or ideas from all residents. I’d also like to voice my strong support for Kimmie Sabsay as Garden Coordinator. She has been a driving force behind many positive changes to the garden so far, and I’m confident that she and I can keep that momentum going! Thank you 🙂
External Relations Delegate
Hello everyone! My name is Katie Wu, and I’m a G4 in the department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. I moved to Lawrence at the start of the summer, and I was quickly charmed by the community here. I am running for the position of External Relations Delegate so that I may help make Lawrence a more pleasant and vibrant neighborhood for us all. I have extensive experience enacting change on behalf of my various communities, and I consistently find that it is essential to identify and maintain connections with relevant external entities. I previously interned at the Flushing Business Improvement District, a non-profit organization that acts as a liaison, advocate, and problem solver for neighborhood. I facilitated communication among city departments, elected officials, business owners, and residents to organize services and events for the benefit of all constituents. As an undergraduate at Brown University, I was a co-leader of the Engineering department for three years. During my tenure, I connected administrative staff, students, professors, and alumni in order to enrich departmental academic life by organizing research fairs, opportunities for peer advising and alumni networking, and seasonal social events. At Princeton, I currently serve as the Safety Liaison for my research lab, a position which requires me to monitor the diverse activities of over 25 undergraduates, graduates, and postdocs and communicate with specialists in the office of Environmental Health and Safety to ensure compliance with their safety guidelines so that our research may proceed smoothly. If elected to the position of External Relations Delegate, I will be both proactive and persistent in representing the interests of the Lawrence community. I will strive to establish timely and effective communication among Lawrence residents, the Lawrence Committee, and various administrative bodies in the University in order to gain visibility for residents’ concerns and seek their resolution. Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions! Thank you for reading to the end 🙂 – Katie
Hi! I’m Harry, a 4th year grad student in Plasma Physics. I’ve worked as Grants Manager on the Lawrence Committee for the past year and I hope to continue in this role in the coming year. The main responsibility for the Grants Manager is securing funding for the Committee to hold events in Lawrence and improve communal facilities. Over the past year, we’ve had some major success! With support from the Lawrence and Lakeside Committees, I’ve worked with the grad school to *triple* our annual baseline budget. Now, in the first year with this expanded funding, I look forward to working with other members of the Committee in allocating more funds to food/drinks/activities at Lawrence-wide social events, buying items for communal use such as ironing boards, and funding improvements to the community garden. Currently, we are applying for a grant from TigerWell, a University program dedicated to inclusive and wellness-oriented programming, to build a permanent greenhouse in the garden and provide gardening activities during more of the year.
In my role on the Committee, side responsibilities have included managing Committee funds, helping with purchases and reimbursements, and filling in for the External Relations Delegate position in meetings with GSG and University administration when needed. Whoever fills that role in the coming year, I will continue to be happy to assist them whenever necessary. One major initiative where I expect to help will be advocating for a dog park or similar pet-friendly space in Lawrence. This will require advocating to several University offices, finding substantial funding, and mobilizing Lawrence residents; several of these tasks are in line with what I’ve done so far in the Grants Manager role, and if elected, I look forward to helping with all of them in the coming year.