Alyssa sketches the contours of a more progressive partnership between Yale and New Haven:
The best way to determine the needs of the city’s diverse residents is to talk directly to the people who represent them, and to show a real willingness to strike reasonable, productive deals, whether the negotiations center around union contracts or the sites of new parking lots. Alexander’s comments are representative of what seems to be the prevailing attitude in the Yale administration: the starting assumption is that anyone who asks Yale for anything is selfish, compromises only reward bad behavior, and that only a few, select community leaders are worthy of a place at the table.
When Yale sets those parameters for debate, is it any wonder that those who seek a more just, equitable and open relationship between New Haven and its largest employer feel that they have to make their voices heard in other ways? Make no mistake about it, no matter how much the University may deny it, Yale is in talks with the City of New Haven today at least in part because of the pressure community leaders have brought to bear on the University. The same thing happened last year when the Yale Corporation extended the University’s Homebuyer Program to the Fair Haven neighborhood. When a coalition of student groups echoed community calls for an end to redlining in the program at a press conference, they were quickly invited in for a meeting at the Office of New Haven and State Affairs.