Duke's student paper, preparing for our Dean to become their President, examines our town-gown relations - and theirs: For much of Yale's history, New Haven has been simply a backdrop for the school and while in recent years the institution has made some moves to improve local life, such actions have been limited. Richard Brodhead, dean of Yale College and president-elect at Duke, acknowledged that in the past, Yale overlooked New Haven as an area of particular focus. He added that Yale has attempted in recent years to be a more active and enriching citizen. The school's claims, however, of an internal imperative to enhance the local area often fall flat. The university's campus is metropolitan and shops like Urban Outfitters and J. Crew line the streets, relying heavily on Yalies' expenditures. Beyond the small enclave of student-subsidized retail shops, however, growing sentiment of division separates many residents from the Yale community. Local artist Joseph Darren pointed out the paradox in Yale's advice to undergraduates to stay away from certain areas of the city, citing them as particularly dangerous, yet encouraging student involvement with community service. "A lot of people from the Yale administration encourage students to remain separate from the community," he said. "There is somewhat of an 'us versus them' mentality." ...Some, including New Haven aldermen, suggest that Yale make voluntary payments to help make up the growing deficit in New Haven's budget. The school worth $10.5 billion makes only $7 million payments to the city each year, including taxes and municipal charges. The university touts its yearly tax payment, as well as programs to help first time homebuyers and improve quality of life issues, as examples of its commitment to the community. Locals, however, are skeptical. In comparison, Duke paid $5.4 million in taxes and fees in 2002-2003, but donated $14 million worth of municipal services in-kind. A recent publication from the Office of Public Affairs estimates Duke's direct donations to the community at roughly $51 million, much of it in unpaid health care services. Yale's seemingly restrained involvement in New Haven also contrasts greatly with many of Duke's advancements for city revitalization in Durham in recent years. Duke's Neighborhood Partnership Initiative, a community-based program founded in 1996 to increase University outreach in the areas surrounding campus, targets 12 neighborhoods, forming collaborative partnerships with area homeowners associations and seven elementary and middle schools. Dozens of community service organizations and opportunities, a resourceful Community Service Center and classes with service-learning components are also vital parts of the Duke community's commitment to Durham.


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