EXCLUSIVE: Rider Univ refuses to bring Chick-Fil-A to campus, despite students' demands

Rider University in New Jersey sent a survey to students during the spring semester, asking them which restaurants they would like to see the school bring on campus. But when it became clear that Chick-Fil-A was the students’ top choice, the college disregarded the results of the survey.

The school will not bring the popular fast food chain to campus because “their corporate values have not sufficiently progressed enough to align with those of Rider,” according to a Nov. 1 email sent to Rider students and obtained by Campus Reform. The school went on to clarify that the decision was in an effort to “promote...inclusion for all people.” 

Julia Pickett, a junior political science major and president of Rider’s Young Americans for Liberty chapter, reacted to the college’s decision in a statement to Campus Reform.

[RELATED: Students ‘fear’ Chick-fil-A will jeopardize ‘safe place’]

“I don’t think it is fair, however, because Rider is a private college, ultimately the decision is their own,” Pickett said.

With regard to whether Chick-Fil-A’s corporate values should have been the deciding factor, Pickett objected, telling Campus Reform, “they sell chicken, so as far as I am concerned that should be the focus.” 

”If people didn’t want to buy their food then they don’t have to,” she added. “I think that the administration of Rider felt that having Chick-Fil-A on campus would cause unwanted controversy and felt that the easiest fix was to find another restaurant. I wish they would be honest about it though instead of trying to cover it as a deep offense to the school.”

[RELATED: Johns Hopkins students: Chick-fil-A on campus a ‘microaggression’ against LGBT community]

“It is important to me and to the University that all voices are heard,” Rider Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs Jan Friedman-Krupnick said to Campus Reform. “There are a number of factors that contribute to a campus’ decision to invite a retail partner on campus. While Chick-fil-A is among other restaurants preferenced by Rider students, there are members of the community (faculty, staff, and students) who strongly opposed the option as well.” 

”In all of our campus decisions, we carefully weigh benefits, risks and voices representative of all of our campus constituents,” Friedman-Krupnick added.

A representative for Chick-Fil-A did not respond to a request for comment in time for publication.

Follow the author of this article: Joshua Aminov