Elections for the Lawrence Committee will open on 27th October 2022 at 2pm. Students with a netid can go to this link to submit their vote. Partners and other eligible residents can vote by directly emailing Kevin Fleming at firstname.lastname@example.org. The voting will be open until 11:59 pm of November 7, 2022. The winners will be announced during the Lawrence Committee meeting to be held on Tuesday, November 8th, 2022. You may view the Candidate Statements for the election below.
Here are all the candidates, followed below by bios:
President: Hassan Sayed
Secretary: Ananya Chakravarti, Hannah Rabb
Social Chair: Kristin Isaacs
Facilities Manager: Josh Lederman
Garden Coordinator: Liz Helfenberger
Garden Events Manager: Kimmie Sabsay
External Relations Delegate: Mimi Borders, Anastasia Karpova
Grants Manager: Harry Fetsch
Hi Lawrentines — I’m a G4 in the Econ department who served as secretary on the Lawrence Committee in the past year.
As secretary, I have extensive knowledge about what the committee can accomplish and how to work housing and committee members within its limits. I was tasked with overhauling the Lawrence website this past year, which comprised of working with committee members and our advisors in housing to write up information about Lawrence for the community. As I wrote up all this information, I gained an understanding of policies and rules at Lawrence.
I have also been in charge of taking all notes and sending out all communication on behalf of the committee — so I have a deep understanding of the functioning of the committee, different members’ roles, and (in the process of responding to resident emails) the demands of the Lawrence Community.
Beyond the basic duties of overseeing the committee, I would have two additional goals as president. The first would be to continue a process beginning under Deepen Garg’s tenure to pass amendments that improve the functioning of the committee (e.g. by creating stakes ensuring committee members do their jobs).
The second would be to work with committee members and housing to make investments that improve the everyday quality of life here — such as by exploring additional package organization solutions, improving building signage, making sustainable improvements to garden infrastructure, and ensuring effective communication about events at Lawrence. On this last note, I have already begun the process as secretary of setting up a separate listserv that spouses and family can join to be kept in the loop about programming.
I hope you will give me this opportunity to use my experience with the committee and knowledge of Lawrence to good use as President. Thank you for reading!
Hi friends and neighbors! My name is Ananya Chakravarti (she/her), and I am a 1st year PhD student in CBE (Chemical and Biological Engineering). I really love the Lawrence Apartments community and want to be more involved – which is why I am running for Secretary this year!
The main duties of Secretary are to organize meeting minutes, manage email communications, keep the website updated, and keep track of any logistics. I’ve been in leadership positions (especially secretary) frequently in college; I was secretary of UChicago AcaCouncil for 2 years, secretary of Society for Molecular Engineering for 3 years, and president (2 years) and treasurer (1 year) of Society for Women in Engineering. I also have a lot of experience working with University Residence Life; I was part of the UChicago House Council for 2 years, was a Summer Resident Assistant, and was a Resident Dean Assistant for 2 years.
A lot of my prior roles involved taking meeting minutes and sending out email communications, and I’ve developed a unique style of organizing my notes and emails by color and font type so they are as vibrant and interesting as possible! I would like to update the email format of the communications sent out to Lawrence residents and make the emails more colorful so that they are easier to read through. My plan is to organize the monthly emails with the information most relevant/important to residents listed on top so that they do not miss on key information.
Additionally, I would like to renovate the website to make it more user friendly and up-to-date (especially with regards to the social events being listed). I would also like to add a calendar so that all events over the next month or two can be viewed easily by residents. As part of the Lawrence Committee, I will be sure to communicate frequently with other committee members and residents to help out wherever needed. I have a lot of experience with room reservations, budget planning, and working with university administrations so am happy to pitch in for any of these areas to ensure things run smoothly! I’m also super passionate about diversity and outreach initiatives and would love to contribute wherever I can in that regard.
I check my email even more than my text messages so you can be sure I’ll promptly respond if you have any questions or need anything. And I’m always open to any suggestions 🙂
Hi all! My name is Hannah and I’ve been living in Lawrence with my partner for about one year. Over that time, I’ve had the opportunity to participate in several Lawrence events and learn more about the ideal aspects of the Lawrence community as well as the challenges faced by residents. I am running for the position of Secretary to advocate for the needs of residents and ultimately help the Committee to better serve the community. The primary roles of the Secretary include maintaining the Lawrence website, communicating critical information to residents about Committee happenings (such as publishing meeting minutes), and generally acting as a liaison between residents and the Committee. I am excited about the possibility of taking on these roles and believe I have the skills to successfully create an environment where residents are well informed and feel comfortable seeking assistance and support from the Committee.
As a federal health policy analyst, an important part of my job includes communicating with stakeholders and interested parties to ensure that their voices are heard and, where appropriate, reflected in policy decisions. When I write rules that pertain to civilian health agencies, I spend several weeks reading and responding to thousands of public comments. This experience should serve me well when working with residents and the Committee to resolve any issues in Lawrence.
One area of improvement I plan to tackle is the Lawrence website. It has the potential to be a great asset for the community; however, some of the posted information is outdated, and it is not well advertised as an expedient resident resource. I think it can be a much more useful tool if it is reorganized, fortified with more pertinent information, and updated more frequently, especially given constant university policy changes around housing, COVID-19, and more.
I also believe that a lot more work can be done to keep residents informed of important information in a timely and succinct manner without overloading inboxes. I plan to make Committee achievements and general announcements clearer and more accessible so no one misses or has to dig through lengthy emails for germane updates. Currently, the Committee has begun to take initial steps to ensure important communications reach non-student residents and I plan to further these efforts if elected.
I’d love to speak to more residents and get any thoughts on other ways for improving communication between residents and the Committee.
I believe my experience working in the public interest provides me with the skills necessary to be effective as the Secretary of the Lawrence Committee, and I would love the privilege to serve as Secretary—thank you for your consideration!
Hello friends and neighbors!
I am Kristin Isaacs and I live in Old Lawrence with my husband, our four-year-old son, and two cats. You may have seen me around outside with a little boy in the garden, on the playground, or at social events this past year! I am the current social chair on the Lawrence Committee and I am running for re-election because I love organizing and bringing people together under a common interest or shared cause.
I have been a very active and involved committee member since I began the position last December. I have planned and executed many bonfires, a Chinese Lantern Festival, a bike and scooter safety event and fun ride, a pool party at Nassau Swim Club, summer yoga, fall yoga, and I’m currently getting ready to host the Lawrence partner and spouse mixer and our annual Lawrence Halloween event which will include a costumed dog parade this year! Luckily I have helpers from the Lawrence Committee and elsewhere to help me pull off so many events. I am thankful for the support.
I also lead the Lawrence Parents group and I have organized a potluck and fire safety event for families. I do take pride in catering to diverse demographics, and I think my record speaks for itself.
Please Re-Elect Kristin Isaacs for Lawrence Committee Social Chair!
Hi everyone! I’m Josh Lederman, and I’ve had the honor of being your Facilities Manager for the past year. During that time, my priority has been improving the resident experience, with a particular focus on clear and prompt communication with residents and improving the laundry room experience. A few key results from the past year:
• Revamped the Resident Info section of the Lawrence website—check it out here! https://lawrence.princeton.edu—I added significantly more content, fixed outdated information, and reorganized it so residents can better find what they are looking for
• Worked with housing to transition to new, modern washers and driers, almost eliminating the frequent machine breakdowns
• Added a variety of signage to better inform residents, including info on laundry room maintenance requests (pre-replacement), restrictions on the use of bleach to resolve some upsetting bleach-stain issues, and guidance on reserving the activity rooms
• Acquired snow shovels for Lawrence residents for use digging out their cars—they’re in the three dumpster sheds and hopefully will be useful!
• Helped resolve issues small and large via GSG Slack—check 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
We’ve made a ton of progress tackling issues over the past year, but there are still a few areas where I believe we can make some meaningful improvements:
Package storage. Package overcrowding and exposure to the elements is still a huge problem at Lawrence. I have lobbied for new package shelving and am making progress with the Housing Office to get it installed in Lawrence 1. Though university rules make shelving in the other buildings not possible, as an alternate solution I am working to move door locks from the exterior entryway doors to the interior ones. Packages can be left indoors, out of the rain, and as an added benefit residents will be able to more quickly get out of the elements.
Cart location assignment. Laundry, shopping, and package carts tend to go missing or turn up in unexpected locations. I plan to work with the community to determine what gaps exist in cart availability and make sure both that we have the types and quantities of carts the community needs and that those carts may consistently be located.
Ongoing responsiveness. I’ve learned over the past year that one of the most important jobs of a Facilities Manager is not fixing the problems I know about, but learning about and fixing the urgent problems I’m 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!
My name is Liz Helfenberger. I’m a 5th year in the Physics Department and have served as the Lawrence Garden Coordinator for the past 2 years. I am running for re-election because I would like to continue transforming the Lawrence Garden into a space that fosters community and unites people from different walks of life. Gardens should be more than private spaces reserved for hobbyists; they should benefit the entire community, providing everyone with a connection to nature and a place to meet their neighbors. To put this idea into practice, I helped create a new position on the Lawrence Committee: the Garden Events Manager. While the Garden Coordinator is responsible for the basic maintenance of the garden grounds, the Garden Events Manager is responsible for social programming, much of which will be available to all Lawrence residents, rather than the subset who choose to garden. This new position would not exist without Kimmie Sabsay, who has been the unofficial Garden Events Manager for the entire 2022 season. I credit her with many positive changes to the garden, including the idea to buy a greenhouse, the creation of a crop give-away table to reduce waste, the creation of a seed bank, and the hosting of a seed-saving event. I endorse Kimmie for Garden Events Manager and believe she and I are the right team for 2023, which will be a year of great transition for the garden.
The reason I am running for Garden Coordinator again is because I enjoy the logistical challenges the garden presents. In 2021, the biggest challenge the garden faced was that the land was not being used efficiently. One-third of the garden was populated by invasive, 6-foot-tall weeds called mugwort. The root cause of this issue was the decision to assign plots on a rolling basis and the overestimation of how much space to reserve for future gardeners. The rolling-basis plot assignment started in 2020 amid pandemic restrictions on gatherings, which continued into the summer of 2021. In 2022, these restrictions were not present and all plot boundaries were delineated at the beginning of the season, thanks to two well-attended Spring Clean-Up events. As a result, weeds did not overtake the garden in 2022. We can conclude that the main problem of 2021 was an artifact of pandemic restrictions.
Nevertheless, 2022 presented its own challenges and my goals as Garden Coordinator in 2023 reflect them. I have 4 aims: (1) Make the garden more inviting to visitors and improve signage to clarify which crops are available to all vs. belonging to a particular gardener; (2) Optimize the organization of the garden sheds so putting tools away is intuitive and easy; (3) Create a better system of identifying and reassigning abandoned plots to maximize efficiency of the land; (4) Create more communal plots for herbs, pumpkins, corn, and strawberries. I hope I have the pleasure of serving the Lawrence community for another year. Thank you!
Garden Events Manager
Hi everyone! My name is Kimmie Sabsay and I have been a resident of Lawrence for 2 years now. I am a G3 in QCB and my dissertation focuses on the molecular structures of viral genomes. I am an avid plant lover and enjoy how gardening fosters such a unique and diverse community. I have been an active member of the community garden for two years and have worked closely with our garden coordinator, Liz Helfenberger, over the past year to understand the responsibilities that go into organizing the garden and helping to find ways to improve it. I proposed for and assisted in establishing this new committee position and am excited to finally be officially running for the Garden Events Manager position.
This past year, Liz and I have implemented several new additions to the garden, including a greenhouse to grow our own seedlings and make gardening more accessible to those who are not able to go off campus and buy plants. We have also hosted new events (like our recent seed harvesting event) to bring our community together and learn new skills. Next year I am hoping to create a garden plot dedicated to native plants that will serve as a way to nourish our ecosystem and educate our gardeners. I will also host sustainable gardening events that will be centered around growing seedlings, composting, kid-friendly DIY crafts using recycled and repurposed materials (bird feeders, plant stake labels, etc.), and supporting our beneficial insect population (like monarch butterflies).
External Relations Delegate
Hey Folks! My name is Mimi Borders (she/her), and I am a G2 in the History Department and Department of African American Studies. I am a midwestern girl born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. I went to undergrad at Washington University in St. Louis and got my MPhil from the University of Oxford in 2020. My work inside and outside of the academy is invested in advocating for the needs of underrepresented students and communities. Through my experience as a student organizer at both of my former institutions I have navigated bridging the interests of students and faculty with the bureaucratic nuances of university administration. At my undergraduate institution I worked to lobby administrative for increases in equitable admissions services, affordable housing options and mandatory basis training for all campus police. This work necessitated acting a liaison between multiple conflicting campus partners while centering student voices and needs.
With this experience in mind, I am running to be the external relations delegate. I will represent the diverse interests of the Lawrence community to the GSG, the Graduate School and other entities in an effective, efficient and eager manner. As a member of Lawrence Committee, I will ensure our needs as graduate students living in graduate housing are not only heard but heeded.
A vote for Mimi is a vote for a better Lawrence!
Hi everyone! I am a PhD student in Economics, and I am running for External Relations Delegate. I was the member of the Lawrence Committee in 2020-2021, and I have vast experience communicating with the university administration and working on the committee. As a result, I am well prepared to work together with the GSG and other university bodies to serve our community. I would like to join the committee again to resolve the following issues.
• The broken traffic light on Lawrence Dr and Alexander St intersection is not only an inconvenience but also a safety concern with cars often ignoring the red light because of a long wait. I plan to report it and work closely with the Transportation Services to make sure it gets fixed.
• Another issue is package delivery. Thanks to the previous committee, shelving in Lawrence 1 mail room is to be installed soon. However, the problem is often more acute in other buildings that don’t have a mail room and packages are left outside and are damaged by rain. If elected, I will work with Graduate Housing to develop solutions for other buildings as well.
• Stray golf balls are an ongoing issue and a serious safety concern, including an incident of a golf ball breaking a window and landing in someone’s apartment. I plan to advocate for robust netting and quick repairs in addition to continued monitoring.
• I have many other ideas, relating to insufficient or broken streetlights, the need to buy window ACs in Old Lawrence, and the way maintenance requests are submitted and tracked. And I’m also looking forward to learning about your needs and concerns so that I can be a better advocate for our community.
I hope to have an opportunity to serve as your External Relations Delegate and thank you for considering me!
Friends, Lawrentines, classmates:
Hello! I’m Harry Fetsch, a third-year grad student in the Plasma Physics program. I moved into Lawrence in 2021, as campus life was just beginning to recover from the pandemic, with very little in the way of community. Throughout my first year as a resident, I appreciated the chance to meet new people at community events held by the Lawrence Committee (and the grad school more broadly). I want to help enable even more social cohesion and community activities in Lawrence, and I’m running for Grants Manager so I can secure funds for the Committee that will help them to accomplish even more in the coming year.
I will come into this position with experience arranging funds for a variety of other organizations. At Princeton, I’ve been involved in the Graduate Student Committee for my department during the past two years. I’ve helped to organize many social events and negotiate with the department for funding. As an undergrad, I served as a residence hall president for three years, organizing events on an original budget of about $3k but securing over $20k in funds from the student government and the student affairs office to renovate our public spaces and to fund social events hosted by our dorm and open to the college community. For a student-run rocketry project, I also helped to find $10k in funds, allowing us to get a broad cross-section of the student body involved in our design work.
If elected to the Lawrence Committee, I will look to help the Committee achieve similar things for our community. That means reaching out to university organizations–including the Graduate School/Housing/GHAB, the GSG, and various student organizations and affinity groups–that could be interested in partnering with us in hosting joint events. I will work to assist the Social Chair, hearing about the events that they hope to organize and then finding specific funding sources that match well to those events. I will also work with the Facilities Manager to discuss potential improvements to our common spaces (e.g. games, furniture, replacements for perennially-vanishing laundry carts) that would make them more appealing spaces for members of our community to gather, and then look for funding to support these improvements. I will also make myself accessible to residents who may have connections to additional resources that will benefit the community, or who have concerns more broadly that I can forward to the community.
Thank you and don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions. All the best,
(*or Henry, long story… 🙂 )