To the Editor:
I am deeply disappointed that Yale is handing over $4 million to the city of New Haven. Just last week, we learned that our tuition costs increased by over $2,000. Instead of supplementing our education, a large portion of this money will augment the city’s slush fund.
Yale provides the city with countless opportunities. In addition to being the city’s largest employer, Yale pays taxes on for-profit properties, provides the community with numerous cultural events and access to its facilities, funds innumerable community outreach groups and infuses the city with development projects.
Meanwhile, the city has practiced poor financial planning. Instead of demonstrating responsible financial habits, the city has increased its budget and plans to raise property taxes. This comes at a time when the city’s population is shrinking.
If the city is struggling for funds, why is it luring another nonprofit, Gateway Community College, to the downtown area? Perhaps New Haven plans to demand funding from this nonprofit as well. Yale should not have to rescue the city or provide funding in return for the city’s support for the cancer center. Instead, I would like to see the money invested within the University. For example, the engineering department could direct this money toward improved teaching facilities and increased student project budgets.
Unfortunately, Alderman Ben Healey and his likely successor Rebecca Livengood feel that the University should give more. Although this reflects the union’s intimidating tactics, it does not reflect the majority opinion of Ward 1. The University must stand strong and realize that good relations with the city are not dependant upon large financial gifts. Yale should close its checkbook, direct our tuition toward improving our education and stop promoting civic irresponsibility.
Daniel Wiznia ’06
April 14, 2005