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Encouraging students to be good neighbors


Newcomer Kimberly Gilkey likes being part of the Santa Clara neighborhood. “The city of Santa Clara is a great, tight-knit community that really looks out for each other,” says the new Assistant Dean for Off-Campus Student Life at SCU, who started July 1. Formerly, she was Area Coordinator for the student neighborhood at University of Dayton in Ohio. She looks forward to getting to know the neighbors around SCU as she develops community-building events.

Gilkey will primarily act as a resource in terms of student rights and responsibilities for those living off-campus. “With students moving off-campus in greater numbers, the University wanted to establish this new position to address their needs and concerns,” she says.

Gilkey will develop programming and educational tools to assist students in learning about landlord-tenant interactions, safety issues, and how to be good neighbors. She will also act as a hearing officer for code violations. “Students who get cited for a violation of the student conduct code for misconduct off-campus will come to see me as a hearing officer,” she says.

But she sees her role as primarily proactive rather than reactive. She is hopeful that violations will decrease as students learn “what it means to be a good neighbor, what it means to be a community member, and how their actions such as late-night parties impact that community.” Her plan is to have students perform service projects within the community to solidify their role in the neighborhood, as well as to increase their interaction with and understanding of their neighbors.

She has already met a few of the neighbors at the Neighborhood University Relations Committee. “They seem to welcome the students. But I think that everyone wishes that the students would be a little more attentive to the needs of the community, especially in terms of late-night activities,” she acknowledges. “I really want to help bridge the gap between students and neighbors.”

The Assistant Dean encourages neighbors to voice concerns as well as applaud student conduct off-campus by contacting her at or calling her at 554-4583.

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