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

February 11th Meeting Notes

  • Transportation
    • Charlie Tennyson from the Transportation office described the University’s initiative to reform transportation (buses, scooters, bike shares, and car shares) as part of the Mobility Framework. They are currently looking for input from the community and offered a few ways to do so:
      • The survey we forwarded. It is important that many grad students respond to the survey since we are the primary users of tiger-transit.
      • There will be an open house this Friday in Dylan gym between 10am-2pm.
      • There was also a focus group held in Frist, multi-purpose room A on Wednesday, Feb 12 though this was not open to the public at large.
    • The committee also raised a number of concerns including: the spotty service during the summer, demand for increased service on the weekends (including from the weekend shopper), and that the Lawrence shuttle does not run late enough on weekdays.
    • The University is doing a complete rethink of the transportation, so please fill out the survey. The link for the survey: https://www.princetoncampusmobility.org/survey

  • Constitution amendment
    • A proposal will be made to merge the role of web-master and secretary and replace it with a facilities manager position. Over the coming weeks a proposal to reform the Lawrence Constitution to reflect this change will be made and brought forth before the committee.

  • Social Events:
    • Sunday, March 8th: We will screen an episode of the Great British Bake Off and have some delicious baked goods.
    • April:  There will be an ice cream social.

  • Gardening:
    • There is a maintenance issue with the composter. As residential composting goes to serve as animal feed it may not be able to serve as a substitute. There will be a search for funding from various university offices (sustainability, facilities, etc.) for funding to fix the issue.
    • The garden will reopen after the roomdraw.

  • Yoga
    • Lawrence Yoga was an outstanding success with 11 attendees! In this light we discussed ways of strengthening the sense of community in Lawrence. Suggestions were made for coffee and cookie hours and for small community social grants for groups who organize themselves. Budget constraints will determine what may be done.

  • Roll call:
    • Amit Halevi
    • Charlie Tennyson
    • Richard Gagliardi
    • Chris Tokita
    • Noam Reich
    • Michael Hebditch
    • Kendra Bergstedt
    • Zachary Cohen
    • Kevin Fleming
    • Chadi Saad-Roy

January 14, 2020 Lawrence Committee Minutes

  • Constitutional reform
    • Create new position of “facilities coordinator” (name pending)
      • Example of GCHC: “Facilities Chair”
    • Merge two other positions
      • Perhaps Webmaster and Secretary
    • Rename GSG Representative to reflect the full scope of their responsibilities
      • Example of Lakeside: “External Relations Delegation”
    • Rename committee meetings to encourage public participation
      • Example of Lakeside: “Town hall meeting”
  • Playground
    • Old playground will shortly be removed [note – the playground has been removed by the time of the publication of these notes)
      • This process has been in the works for years
    • Possible improvements to the new playground
      • Water pooling
  • Long-term solution: drill holes, could take time
  • Short-term solution: place squeegees by playground
  • Some residents want fencing, some do not
    • Could speak to EHS to ask if they’d like to do an evaluation
  • Chris Warkala, HRES Operations Manager, is considering the problem
  • We can consider improving methods for feedback for major facilities renovations like this in future, but the long timeframes involved mean that often the students in a position to give feedback will not be the ones to use any resource, and vice-versa
  • Yoga class times in the spring
    • Monday-Thursday 6:30 or later [note – yoga has been set to 8pm on Mondays since the meeting]
  • Laundry machines
    • Possibility of getting change machines in?
    • Michael Hebditch reports that the University (both the GSG and university administration) are looking into installing new laundry machines, which may have a different payment method
      • For example, a phone app
      • Possibly get a tablet to leave in the room in case people forget their phones
    • “As soon as possible” – no real estimate
  • Transportation Update
    • Nothing to report
  • Housing Update
    • Composting program is officially up and running!
      • Food waste only, no paper products (it’s for animal feed)
      • Housing is monitoring the program to make sure people are doing it well
  • Social Events Update
    • First event will be a screening of the Great British Bake-off accompanied by tea and cakes
      • February 15th or 22th (Saturdays)
    • Second event not yet decided
  • GSG Update
    • Primary topic of discussion at the last GSG meeting was how to improve turn-out for the upcoming GSG election (in order to get a quorum to change the GSG constitution)
  • Things not on the agenda
    • Idea: what to do with the space where the old playground was?  A covered bike shed! (like the one next to Lawrence 1)
      • This idea has been passed on to HRES!
      • The playground location may be inappropriate due to golf balls, but perhaps another location can be found.
    • One result of a recent housing survey was that Lawrence students feel a lack of community.  How can this be improved?
      • It should be a regular event so that residents can drop in when convenient without needing to commit to anything
      • For example, a weekly coffee hour
  • Week day?  Weekend? There’s concern that people aren’t around on the weekend
  • There’s a pre-existing coffee connect program with various groups on campus, but attendance is always pretty low.
  • If a regular event starts to gain traction, we can use some of our budget to buy coffee and cakes, and if there’s good attendance, we can start seeking money from other sources
  • This led to a brief discussion about how much we don’t even know our neighbors on our own floors
  • Kevin: the Office of the Dean is currently working on ways to gauge the success of various programming, including when is the best time for programming
    • Schedules are very different among all students, so consider having an event that meets regularly (e.g. weekly), but not always on the same day or at the same time, so that all students are able to attend at least some of the time
  • Can we consider surveying residents?
    • There are concerns about low turn-out, but we should still offer people an opportunity to speak
  • Roll:
    • Amit Halevi, President
    • Chadi Saad-Roy, GSG Representative
    • Michael Hebditch, HRES
    • Kevin Fleming, Office of the Dean of the Graduate School 
    • Chris Tokita, Vice President
    • Alec Downie, resident

December 10, 2019 Minutes

  • Elections were held  for the 2020 Lawrence committee and following are the results
    • President – Amit Halevi
    • Vice President – Chris Tokita
    • Secretary – Deepen Garg
    • Social Coordinator – Richard Gagliardi
    • GSG Representative – Chadi Saad-Roy
    • Webmaster – Noam Reich
    • Garden Coordinator – Kendra Bergstedt
  • Yoga Classes:
    • We will continue the yoga classes on the same schedule next semester, starting in February. However, as a trial, we will hold 1 hour 15 minutes sessions rather than 1 hour sessions that we hold now
    • All the other social events will resume in February as well
  • Playground:
    • University has built a new playground but there are two concerns by the community. The first concern is that it has no drainage holes. The committee is working with the housing department, and they are looking into the possible solutions. The second concern is that it has no fencing, which is again getting looked at. If anybody in the community shares these concerns or have new concerns, please let the committee know, as it will be very helpful to showcase the urgency of the matter.
    • There is another playground near Building 14 which the community can use. It is more suitable for older kids (around the age 4-9)
  • Housing:
    • Modifications are being done to the housing draw forms to make them simpler and self-explanatory. A session will be held at Lawrence during the pre-draw period (after mid-February) to explain the process and answer any questions the community members might have.
    • Contract for composting has been signed and delivery dates are being discussed. So, we can expect the composting to start relatively soon.
  • Transportation:
    • The committee has reached out to the transportation department regarding buses leaving early, overcrowding during the evening rush hours, and reforming the evening schedule.
    • The transportation department has stated that the schedule can’t be changed this calendar year, and they are rethinking the whole university public transport system
    • A member from the new committee will be decided to join the transportation advisory committee to voice concerns of Lawrence residents
  • Garden:
    • The garden is closed and will reopen next year
    • There was a report of a smell near Building 14 but the committee couldn’t find any trace of it.
    • The outgoing garden coordinator has shared the annual report on the garden with the gardeners and a copy handed off to the new garden coordinator.
  • Roll
    • Amit Halevi
    • Chris Tokita
    • Deepen Garg
    • Kathy Ingram
    • Richard Gagliardi
    • Noam Reich
    • Guanhua He
    • Chadi Saad-Roy
    • Kendra Bergstedt
    • Joshua Bauchner
    • Mauricio Loyola
    • Zac Cohen
    • Michael Hebditch