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New Haven residents criticize Yale’s municipal contributions during coronavirus pandemic

They say the school should pay more, open its doors to community members

Residents of New Haven, Connecticut, criticized Yale University in a recent city council meeting, claiming that the school needs to step up its financial obligation to the city as well as offer its campus up in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

The Yale Daily News reports that local residents “filled” a virtual meeting of the New Haven City Council, held online to avoid the possibility of spreading the coronavirus. Citizens argued that the Ivy League university “fails to meet its moral — and financial — obligations” to New Haven.

Yale reportedly fails to “adequately contribute to New Haven,” some argued, a reality that has apparently been exacerbated by the coronavirus outbreak. Residents “reiterat[ed] long-standing calls for an increased financial contribution from Yale,” with one citizen claiming that the city is “in a deeper and more widespread sense of emergency” than before.

There were also demands that the school make its physical campus available for COVID-19 relief efforts:

In addition to reiterating long-standing calls for an increased financial contribution from Yale, several residents voiced their demands regarding the University’s role in the COVID-19 pandemic. Several called on Yale to open its doors and dorms to New Haven residents who face housing insecurity or require isolation as they recover from coronavirus infections — echoing demands laid out in an open letter to the Yale administration, which boasts over 1,200 signatories as of Monday evening…

For its part, Yale has contributed research and medical personnel, donated personal protective equipment and continued with food provision services amid the outbreak. Yale has additionally contributed $1 million to a $5 million fund for direct aid to the Elm City.

The school’s president, Peter Salovey, has also agreed to house public safety officers in 300 temporarily empty student dorms on campus, though the New Haven mayor said the city is currently working to place those workers in dorms at nearby University of New Haven.

Read the report here.

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