Letters to the editor

Administrator’s criticism of town-gown column was flimsy

To the Editor:

A letter to the editor in Thursday’s edition of the News that criticized a fabulous article (“City’s lack of definition complicates relations,” 10/18) seemed to be highly redundant and overly defensive. Michael Morand suggested that Adler Prioly’s article inaccurately portrayed relations between Yale and the city of New Haven as disharmonious. Yet it seems that Prioly did not write anything that contradicted Morand’s statements on how Yale and New Haven exist together in complementary ways. Prioly simply was trying to describe the seemingly complicated relationship between the University and the city, while pointing out the legitimate areas of possible tension. While the associate vice president for the Office of New Haven and State Affairs would certainly want to defend the positive aspects of the relationship between New Haven and Yale, Prioly’s article already went into great detail on Yale and ONHSA’s role in promoting equitable relations between town and gown through Yale-sponsored initiatives like the Dixwell-Yale Community Learning Center and the Homebuyer Program. A University that is confident in its positive role in the community need not necessarily be so self-protective in defending its role to the public since it will be evident to all that a good tree shall bear good fruit.

Mark Cutolo DIV ’08

Oct. 19

The writer is the Rev. Samuel N. Slie Fellow at the University Church in Yale at Battell Chapel.

There was much to agree on in recent New Haven op-ed

To the Editor:

In response to my column (“City’s lack of definition complicates relations,” 10/18), Michael Morand, Yale’s associate vice president of for New Haven and State Affairs, wrote, “New Haven would not be New Haven without Yale, nor would Yale be Yale without New Haven.” I do not disagree; my analysis of Yale’s relationship with New Haven stems primarily from New Haven as an unorthodox city, which partners with Yale for economic development. Most cities rely on development and the private sector for economic vitality, while New Haven partners with Yale. I agree quite fervently that in the unique situation between Yale and New Haven, given their histories, they should and must work together.

I think the senior veteran of New Haven who wrote the response would agree with me when I say that the road towards the Yale-New Haven partnership has been bumpy. New Haven took Yale to court in 1898 over dorms which they considered taxable; during the depression and rough economic times, city leaders noted how Yale had removed taxable property through expansion and increased its own budget. Further, the PILOT (Payment in Lieu of Taxes) program was instituted to allow New Haven to gain some tax money while Yale expanded its campus. The partnership endured this tax battle among other clashes in order to build the more stable marriage we now see today. These are facts, not my own arbitrary opinions. My remarks were not meant as inflammatory, although they could be perceived as such. In light of this condensed history, I think we can agree that the road to the marriage we see now has been interesting, if not complicated.

Adler Prioly ’09

Oct. 19

College should provide more funding for science students

To the Editor:

Your article on “Grant funds vaccine research” (10/19) indicates that science laboratories with extensive grant funds are attractive to undergraduates for research opportunities because “you want to kind of work in a lab with the resources to support your project,” and “if the lab director doesn’t have the money, that would be a problem.” The fact is that government grant funds have not been given, for the most part, to the laboratory to support undergraduate research activities, even though almost every grant-supported lab uses some of its funding for this purpose. Permitting undergraduates to work in a research laboratory is part of the Yale College teaching and learning experience and, quite simply, it should be supported by Yale College funds, not our research grants. Princeton gives a $500-1,000 stipend to each undergraduate student working in a research laboratory to cover expenses incurred by the student’s research, and there is no reason why Yale College shouldn’t support student research activities in the same way.

Joel Rosenbaum

Oct. 19

The writer is a professor in the Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology.