January 2003 Archives

Are Lawrence residents eligible for the NJ state tax credit?

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First, please understand that the Lawrence Committee is not qualified to advise you about tax laws and procedures, especially as the latter might change and we have neither the expertise nor the resources to keep up. The information below is provided "as is", and it is your responsibility to check that it is correct.

In previous years residents of the Lawrence apartments have been eligible for the tax rebate. The regulation change from year-to-year, however. The Office of the General Counsel of the university publishes some tax-related information for students, including information on the NJ state tax credit. You should consult the latest information at that site as well as your own tax advisor before filing your taxes.

How can I get quarters for the laundry machines?

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If you go to a bank (you do not need to have an account) you can exchange a $10 bill for a roll of quarters. The committee has investigated putting change machines in the laundry room, but it is not viable to do so.

Why am I not receiving emergency notifications?

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The emergency notification system includes contact information from SCORE. Please make sure that your contact information in SCORE is up-to-date. For further information and complete guidelines for PTENS, please see the following link: http://web.princeton.edu/sites/emergency/PUENS-FAQ.html

How can I get a key to the garden?

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If the gophers and bunnies can get in, why can't you? (Seriously, the key that opens the building doors also opens the padlock on the garden gate.)

Where can I donate gently-used clothing?

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There is a large white metal "dumpster-style" donation box in parking lot #23 on campus. You can also go to the Nearly New Shop on Nassau at Olden.

What's wrong with the traffic light?

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The traffic light that leads to Alexander Road is activated by a sensor. In the past, residents have experienced problems with the light not changing to green. These problems were reported to the university and the township and we believe the sensor is working properly at this point. If you experience problems, please contact Olivia Martel.

Someone keeps leaving menus on my door!

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Sometimes residents are disturbed by unwanted solicitation. If you see solicitors around the complex, don't let them into the buildings! If you receive unwanted solicitation, contact Public Safety.

Is it necessary to reserve a grill in advance?

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There are several grilling areas in the Lawrence complex. There is no process for reserving the grills. They are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

What permissions do guests need to stay in my apartment?

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Space in University housing is made available to regularly enrolled graduate students of Princeton for their personal use, and use of such space cannot be transferred to any other individual.  Visitors are allowed in housing throughout the 24-hour day, yet the presence of guests or visitors must not interfere with other residents' normal activities.  Roommates are expected to be sensitive to each other's need for privacy as well as reasonable about the need for occasional guests or visitors to the unit.  The University strongly encourages that residents get 48-hours advance consent from and give advance notice to all other roommates before having guests or visitors.  In the case of overnight guests or visitors, 48 hour advance consent from all roommates is required.  Extended visits of more than three days and two nights are not permitted.

Parking is for resident use and only those guests with a valid visitors parking permit may park at or in housing unit lots or parking areas.  Overnight sleeping in common areas of the building is prohibited.  Disputes or concerns surrounding guests should be brought to the attention of the Manager for Graduate Housing for resolution.  The University may deny guest privileges and impose disciplinary action if this policy is abused.

Is there storage space available?

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That depends on what building you live in. Consult the information on storage on this page.

Where is the grocery store?

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There are many grocery stores near Princeton. Some favorites of Lawrence residents:

  • Wegman’s. A few miles south on Route 1, at the Nassau Park exit. Next to Target.
  • McCaffery’s. In the Princeton shopping center on Harrison. Within biking distance of campus.
  • ShopRite. A more budget-friendly store. A few miles south on Route 1, at the Province Line exit. Near Office Depot.
  • Whole Foods. Expensive and organic. South on Route 1, just past Meadow Road. Also accessible by bike. Near Staples.
  • Whole Earth Center. Organic and natural foods. On Nassau, just past Harrison.
  • Trader Joe’s (coming Fall 2009). South on Route 1, exit Meadow road. Next to Lowe’s.

In the fall and spring, there is a weekly farmer’s market on campus.

The university operates several free shuttle lines, including lines from Lawrence to the academic portions of campus, other graduate housing complexes, and even some local shopping centers. For more information, consult the Tiger Transit website.

Walking to the Dinky Station on campus takes between 10 and 20 minutes for most people. Walking to the academic portion of campus takes between 20 and 45 minutes, depending on where you are going. Be sure to study a map first--cutting diagonally across campus can save a lot of time and is much prettier than walking along the major streets!

Many people in Lawrence have a bike. There are several cycling stores in town where you can get a decent bike for around $300. (Most services in Princeton are expensive, and bike repairs are no exception. Consider this before getting a flimsy bike from Wal-Mart for $100.) You can also purchase used bikes on TigerTrade. Every fall and spring, the university has a bike giveaway. The bikes are those found abandoned on the racks around campus, so they are of varying quality--if you want a decent bike, make sure to get there early!

Whether you should buy a car depends on your habits and budget. Single students with little grocery shopping to do usually manage to get by without a car (with occasional help from others, e.g. when transporting furniture). If you are from outside the US, make sure that you want to pay the cost of insurance and repairs before buying a car. If you have a driver's license, you can also rent a car for occasional trips.

Where can I buy furniture?

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If you want to buy new furniture, there are few options in Princeton other than Skillman's on Alexander Road, which tends to be outside of the typical graduate student budget. If you have access to a car, there are two IKEA stores about an hour away in Philadelphia, PA and in Elizabeth, NJ. (New Jersey has lower sales tax than Pennsylvania.)

Many graduate students choose to purchase used furniture. Unfortunately most students sell their furniture at the beginning of the summer, so students arriving in August or September won't always have the best selection. The best options for finding used furniture are Craigslist and Princeton's TigerTrade.

Can I use the community room?

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Of course! The community room and kitchen are unlocked and available for all residents. If you would like to host an activity or event in the either community room (building 1 or building 14), please contact your Community Programs Coordinator, Olivia Martel for room availability, information, and room policies & procedures.

If you have a larger event planned, you must contact Olivia Martel and fill out an Events Registration Form.

What's wrong with the elevator?

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The elevators in buildings 10 and 12 are equipped with an unusual safety feature. If the door tries to close and is forced open three times, the elevator will shut off. The elevator can only be restarted by a qualified person. To avoid this occurrence, please use the Door Open button rather than just holding the door.

Can I install a satellite dish?

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No. See the information on cable television on this page.

How can I receive large parcels?

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The Lawrence Apartments do not have a central mail room where you can receive packages without having to sign for them yourself (like in the Graduate College).

USPS will deliver small or foldable items (letters, junk mail, small packages) to your mailbox. If the parcel does not fit into your mailbox, USPS will usually place it before the mailboxes in the lobby. Generally this has not caused any problems, but some packages left in this manner have occasionally gone missing.

If you are using expedited services which require a signature, the carrier won't be able to deliver the package unless you are there to sign for it. UPS and FedEx usually try to leave the package with your neighbor and leave a notice on your door. Please don't rely on this regularly, unless you check with your neighbor beforehand--especially if the package is large or you can only pick it up at odd hours or with a large delay. If you are not at home, most carriers attempt delivery another time.

The committee examined the idea of providing a central receiving service in 2007, but was told by the university that it was not possible. Redirecting packages to the Porter's Lodge at the GC is not permitted--they are already at capacity and cannot receive additional packages.

As a possible solution, many students can receive mail at their department. Please contact your department about their mail policy.

Can I send furniture to myself before my arrival?

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No. Even if your package doesn't not require a signature, there is no place to leave it if it is very large. Hallways serve as escape routes in case of an emergency, and fire safety regulations demand that they not be obstructed. You cannot send yourself furniture or other large items before your arrival unless you arrange with somebody to pick it up. Sometimes you can ask the carrier to hold your package until you arrive.

Where is my newspaper?

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Some buildings at Lawrence have double entrances, split by odd- and even-numbered apartments. Although signs are posted at each entrance listing the apartments contained within, sometimes the newspaper delivery personnel still use the wrong entryway. If your newspaper is delivered to the wrong entrance, contact the newspaper directly to explain the situation.

PSE&G can't locate me in their database. Is my address correct?

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Sometimes PSE&G will not recognize the address associated with your meter when they try to enable service. Winona Wilson in the housing department can give you the necessary information so that PSE&G can change the account to your name. The address listed on the mail page is correct, according to USPS standards.

Note: If you live in buildings: 8 - 14, all utilities are included. You don't have to contact PSE&G at all.

Something broke in my apartment. How can I get it fixed?

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Consult the maintenance page.

What should I do about my mail when I leave for a longer period?

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The small mailboxes for the apartments fill up if you don't empty them at least every one or two weeks. Once the mailbox is full, USPS will not deliver any more mail to your mailbox. To avoid this, you can have the post office hold your mail (officially, mail be held for a maximum of 30 days, but if you ask nicely at the Palmer Square post office they usually allow a few extra days) or request that the post office forwards your mail to another address (eg your department, but please check with them first). You can find more information about delivery options at the post office website. Please note that Princeton University has a unique zip code, so if you want to forward mail to your department address, the post office will only accept paper forms, thus you won't be able to set up forwarding online.

What is my mailing address?

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Consult the mail page.

How do I send mail?

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Consult the mail page.

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