To the Editor:

Having never heard of Nick Shalek before this fall, we were eager to find out more about him on his Web site. But as leaders of MEChA who believe students have a crucial role to play in pushing for a more progressive partnership between Yale and New Haven, we were disappointed and confused to see him refer to the New Haven Student Fair Share Coalition as “against Yale.”

The Fair Share Coalition is a coalition of over a dozen student groups, including BSAY, AASA, YSEC, the Women’s Center PAC and MEChA, each of which joined the coalition in the belief that there was still more for Yale to do to strengthen the city we call home. Last year we held a series of meetings with Bruce Alexander, director of Yale’s Office of New Haven and State Affairs, to make the case for an increase in Yale’s payment in lieu of taxes to the city. And we were all glad to see Yale announce such an increase last spring.

Shalek’s description of the Coalition as “against Yale” is an insult to each of the groups involved and to every student who worked hard to persuade Yale to contribute more, including Alderwoman Rebecca Livengood, whom he’s challenging in the November election. It suggests that he sees students lobbying Yale to be a better neighbor as a threat to the interests of the University. If that is not his intention, he should re-write that section of his Web site.

Teresa Tapia ’06 and Irma Mejia ’07

Sept. 28, 2005

The writers are current and former moderators of MEChA.