Partners of graduate students deserve support of Yale community

To the Editor:

I would like to share my perspective in response to the Yale Daily News editorial of Tuesday, Jan. 27, “Heterosexual partner rights raise questions.” Until this summer, I was the fiancee of a Yale graduate student and therefore officially ineligible for university privileges.

All partners uproot their lives and give up most expectations of gainful employment by moving to New Haven and supporting their partners. While it may seem trivial to some (and curiously, a burden too great to bear in the News’ view), privileges such as the shuttle bus, the gym and the library are crucial links to the community.

Since moving to New Haven, I have relied upon the support of the Yale community. Last year, while teaching in an area high school and commuting to New York to finish my master’s degree, I made extensive use of the Yale shuttle bus. I spent hours in the university’s libraries, using the world-class collections to research lesson plans for my students. Were it not for a sympathetic administrator who took an engagement ring as sufficient proof of commitment, I could not have lived in New Haven with my fiancee.

It seems ludicrous that the News would recommend denying partners these privileges on an argument based upon, of all things, undue stra-in on treadmills. We are a part of Yale’s community and contribute to its strength every day. And as for that gym? I’ve been there twice.

Cathy Parkes

January 27, 2004

The writer is the partner of Scott Parkes SOM ’04

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