University still has not taken a stance on proposed city policy
THE SANTA CLARA
October 9, 2014
Santa Clara’s Associated Student Government held a public forum Wednesday night to answer any questions and quell student fears and anxieties about a proposed city ordinance.
If passed, the current draft of a housing ordinance authored by a city committee would require property owners to apply for boarding house permits allowing them to rent single family homes to groups of five or more adults paying rent separately.
Sections in the bill, such the “unruly gatherings” clause, would give the Santa Clara City Council the power to revoke these boarding house permits for repeat offenses such as the hosting of parties and poorly maintained landscaping.
The panel answered student questions about the proposed housing ordinance, and consisted of Michael Hindery, vice president of finance and administration; Jeanne Rosenberger, vice provost for student life and dean of students; and Kim Gilkey-Wall, assistant dean for off-campus student life.
During the meeting, Hindery said that students should not worry about the impact this ordinance may have on the current academic year. The members of the panel said the earliest that city council could even consider a final draft of the ordinance would be January. Implementation would take months after that.
“The existing status quo will not change,” said Hindery. “Students living off campus should not be concerned about having to find new housing this year.”
When an audience member asked Hindery if the Santa Clara administration supported or opposed the proposed ordinance, Hindery said it is difficult to take a stance on a document that has changed so much and is still subject to future change.
Despite this, he said that Santa Clara has been an active member in the citywide dialogues about the measure. Hindery said that talks with the city have resulted in changes to the wording of the ordinance, such as the removal of many of the references to fraternities and sororities.
Much of the conversation surrounded the issue of relations between student and resident of the community at large. Gilkey-Wall and Rosenberger encouraged students to meet their neighbors, exchange phone numbers and open smaller scale dialogues about creating a neighborhood conducive to the interest of both student and family resident interests.
The administrators also explained benefits the bill could provide to the student body. Hindery explained that the proposed ordinance ensures the “status quo.” Many of the homes are currently in violation of city ordinance. The proposed bill would provide an effective amnesty for those homes.
Gilkey-Wall pointed out that the permits outlined in the ordinance would put more pressure on landlords to be accountable, an issue that students have protested about for years.
Senior Dalan Angelo, speaking for a group of concerned students, also voiced his opinion about the importance of voter registration and participation in local politics.
Senior Sarah Madden described the ordinance as “discriminatory toward students.”
Angelo and several other students tabled at the back of the meeting to answer questions about how to register to vote and provided voter registration forms.
Contact Nicolas Sonnenburg at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (408) 554-4852.