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

November 12 Meeting Minutes

Below are the notes from our most recent Lawrence Committee meeting on Tuesday November 12, 2019. These notes contain information on the much-asked-about Lawrence Composting program, which has hit a delay (read below).

 Housing update

New playground equipment is in! Old playground is still up but is likely soon to come down in a timely fashion.

The Lawrence Composting will be done with the company Organic Diversions, which also works with Campus Dining for their composting system. Trash collection at Lawrence is handled by Princeton Building Services, and they want to add Lawrence composting as an addendum to the current contract they have with Campus Dining. This then requires a more prolonged approval process, in contrast with Lakeside composting which is managed by an external company and has its own trash collection arrangement (and therefore a much shorter approval process). The approval for Lawrence is still under way, which explains why the launch has been delayed beyond October. Lawrence Committee has expressed that this is a top concern among Lawrence Residents and is continuing to monitor the situation closely with Housing.

Social events

Bonfire was a huge success. Estimate of 50 attendees!

Next up: Holiday cookie decorating. Tentatively on the morning of Saturday December 7 in Lawrence 14 common room.

The dwindling shopping carts

Housing is unable to purchase new carts or devices (to prevent lost carts), given that the new carts were just ordered this year. 

Lakeside management frequently sees the shopping carts show up in their complex. Housing will attempt to put Lakeside management in touch with the Lawrence Committee, and Housing will help coordinate with Facilities to get them returned if there are some there right now

New signs will be placed on carts that explicitly state the carts should not be removed form Lawrence.

GSG Update

Graduate Housing retreat—meant to be focused on grad housing survey—was canceled unfortunately due to lack of available and willing grad students to participate. 

Joshua went on the safety walk with Amit and Michael. Concrete plans were devised for updates and improvements for Lawrence: (1) a walkway that connects directly to old Lawrence is definitely possible now (2) more lighting for the walkway on Alexander (3) improvement on crosswalk at roundabout by Lakeside

Transportation update

The Alexander Bridge is now officially closed and is scheduled to be opening in April, although delays would not be unexpected. To attempt to alleviate traffic, the University is encouraging staff to do flexible work schedules (including remote work) and carpooling.

The bridge closer raises safety concerns due to increased traffic on Faculty Road.

Grad students raised concern about the infrequency of buses after 7pm. The Committee will contact the Office of Transportation Services to see if the Lawrence/Lakeside bus line can be extended for an extra 30-60min.

If you want to express a concern directly to Transportation, please email Charlie Tennyson (ct15@princeton.edu). Emailing him will give him a better sense of what issues are occurring.

Lawrence Chat listserv

There is an opt-in Lawrence listserv (lawrence-chat@princeton.edu) that can be used to send emails to a group of Lawrence Residents. You can sign up through the Listserv Management Webpage. In the past, residents have used the list for lost & found, to ask to borrow items (e.g., tools), or even to see if carpools to a location could be arranged.

Lawrence elections

The election committee will be Joshua, Kevin Fleming, and another Lawrence resident that Joshua has recruited. The date of the election is Tuesday, December 10 and the deadline for declaring candidacy is Tuesday, December 3.

Candidate nominations will begin soon (in ~1 week). Then after a few weeks, the election committee will allow candidates to adjust what position they are running for (in case there is a lot of competition for one position and no candidates for another). Then voting will take place online in the few days leading up to the next Lawrence committee meeting, with in-person voting (for those who did not vote online) and candidate statement reading taking place at the meeting.

Goals for next committee cycle: (1) change name of “GSG Representative” to “University Liaison” to better capture responsibilities of positions (2) potentially create a “Facilities Manager” position and merge positions of “Secretary” and “Webmaster”

The garden

The garden officially closed (until spring) on Halloween week.

In Attendance

Deepen Garg
Yi-Che Chang
Guanhua He
Noam Reich
Joshua Bauchner
Michael Hebditch
Richard Gagliardi
Amit Alevi
Maruicio Loyola
Chris Tokita

October 8 Meeting


Garden update
The season is almost over and has been a great success, with around forty gardeners! There will be a final cleanup after Halloween, and Mauricio plans to buy some extra supplies with the remaining funds (from participant fees).

Social events
Campfire and s’mores on Wed., 16 Oct: Because of the construction of the new playground in front of building 14, the campfire will take place in the old Lawrence lawn. We discussed safety precautions and planning for materials.

The second event of the term will most likely again be a holiday cookie decorating in December.

Trick or treating for kids: The committee will again put together a spreadsheet: residents will sign up to be at home with candy on Halloween eve for an hour, and families can check where to bring kids for candy!

Lawrence 14 Common Room
Kristin Isaacs reported on the work she and other parents have done to organize the space, develop guidelines for further use, and plan to keep the space tidy. We discussed how to make sure the space can be usable for families while also remaining open for everyone.

One specific question arose: Do any residents currently use the piano in building 14 regularly?

The question of whether the committee should have a permanent position devoted to “facilities,” including the building 14 common room, was raised. While the committee can vote to add such a position, the grad school has to approve giving another committee member housing priority. And if such a position would usually be a parent or family member with kids, then housing priority would be moot (families already have priority). Combining such a position with another committee member (e.g., GSG rep, who would become a “community and university liaison” or some such) was suggested. All options will be considered and a route forward will be proposed before the next meeting.

Physical plant / facilities / admin updates
Laundry: Housing is still working on updating the laundry facilities. Housing will make new signs to help in reporting broken machines.

Carts: The committee is aware of the ongoing issues with cards disappearing. We will add other signs to the carts, but don’t have many other options for tracking them. We ask residents to please return them to their home, which should be indicated already on each cart!

Housing and transport: Compost is coming very soon! Keep an eye out for emails from housing with details.

We will be holding elections for the 2020 Lawrence committee at our December meeting. More details to come. But please note that, in addition to being a resident, the only requirement is attending one meeting of the committee before the election. So if you are interested, the November meeting is the last chance to do so.

In attendance:
Michael Hebditch
Mauricio Loyola
Amit Halevi
Chris Tokita
Richard A. Gagliardi
Joshua Bauchner
Kathy Ingraham
Noam Reich
Kristin Isaacs

September 10 Minutes

Gardening update
The summer went well. The next community event will take place around the last weekend of September. If new residents are interested in learning about the community garden, they can go to the garden’s page on the Lawrence website or contact the garden coordinator, Mauricio Loyola, at lawrencegarden@princeton.edu

There are issues with the carts going missing. Some have been found near Wawa and at Lakeside. Michael will see if there is a way to improve that. We are supposed to have nine carts, but it doesn’t seem like we have that many left. Celia is going to do a census.

Laundry rooms
Chris asked on behalf of multiple residents if there is a possibility to have a change machine from which we could get quarters. Michael will do some research about it. A resident mentioned that there is also the option of credit card machines where you can pay for what you need.

Richard asked if we can consider getting rid of the coins altogether. Michael will ask around regarding that as well. The laundry machines could be replaced as well. Joshua will talk with GSG to see if they could possibly help with funding in that case.

 Lawrence Yoga
We are working on scheduling the weekly yoga classes for this new semester. Amit has reached to Recreation and they have offered a slot on Mondays from 8 to 9. Residents present at the meeting approved of this time slot. Amit will confirm with Recreation what is our starting date. The classes generally take place in the building 14 common room, but two residents mentioned that the building 1 common room would be much better. Amit will look into that as well.

Fall semester social events
We would like to organize one event in late September: a campfire, with S’mores and possibly some alcohol for those who want some. This event requires a fire permit and Richard will look into that.

For Halloween, just like last year, we will set up an online sign-up system for residents who are willing to be home when the children come for trick or treating. We will put posters on the doors of each building with the names and apartment numbers so that parents know where they can knock.

A resident mentioned a boardgame night would be nice as well, and another resident mentioned pumpkin carving. Richard will look into all these options and see what we can manage with our budget.

Elections for the Lawrence Committee will take place in December. More information will be sent closer to the date.

GSG update
There were no meetings in the summer. Joshua wants to remind residents that we now have donation bins in the building 1 laundry room. There might be a need to empty them more often as they are very popular, so Joshua will look into that.

Transportation update
Alexander Road will be closed between November 6th of this year and April 2020. Transportation has plans for the shuttles using this road (PTS, 693.) For the shuttles that usually stop at the Alexander/Lawrence stop, residents will have to be mindful of where they are going to stop starting then. The Lawrence shuttle should be able to drive on Alexander Road to reach Lawrence Drive.

Transportation is working on ways to generate better feedback, for example the option of phone calls to get information on an ongoing issue. They are also working on improving the on-demand service and the general service.

Amit mentioned that it could be interesting to consider charging stations for electric cars.

Housing update
The TV in the building 1 common room has been replaced. An Apple device should be added to cast to it.

Residential composting will be set up by October 1st in the three dumpster areas of Lawrence. It won’t accept bags or napkins, only food. Housing is working on signs with clear instructions.

Organizing a talk with the Department of Public Safety to discuss safety, security, and best practices for reporting any potential bike thefts or other community concerns to DPS.
There have been attempted bicycle thefts on campus. As a result, DPS wants to talk about general safety, how to lock up the bikes, etc. The idea is for Sean Ryder from DPS to come to one of our meetings, maybe in October, or to a meeting specially organized for this occasion. We are going to work on some dates. Kevin will ask Sean Ryder where online resources can be found for people who won’t be able to attend the meeting.

Access to the Lawrence listserv
Partners of graduate students are welcome to join the Lawrence listserv. Information can be found of this page: https://lawrence.princeton.edu/2001/06/mailing-lists/

A resident mentioned the important number of toys, some of them broken, in the building 14 common room. She would like to organize the room and make it safer and cleaner. The committee has sent an email to residents to ask them to remove any personal belongings they might have left in that room. Michael mentioned that we might be able to purchase some storage units.

The Graduate School is sponsoring a barbecue in Lawrence on Thursday 19th from 5 pm to 7 pm. It will take place near building 14. All residents are welcome to attend.

In attendance:
Kevin Fleming
Michael Hebditch
Joshua Bauchner
Amit Halevi
Celia Chalfoun
Chris Tokita
Richard A. Gagliardi
Mariah Prescott Fancy
Kristin Isaacs
Noam Reich
Sophie Dvali
A.J. Maziarski
Kaiwen Zheng
Guanhua He
Chadi Sadd-Roy
Thomas Massoni
Carlo Rosati