MAP: Campus backlash against Chick-fil-A spreads nationwide
In recent months, and over the course of the past few years, there has been a trend on college campuses across the country to ban or otherwise disparage the popular fast food chain, Chick-fil-A.
Chick-fil-A is known for its conservative Christian founder, Truett Cathy, and the company’s traditional values. The family-run business’ corporate purpose reads: “To glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us and to have a positive influence on all who come into contact with Chick-fil-A.”
The largest public criticism against the chicken company has been its donations to traditional organizations such as the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, which is not supportive of those identifying as LGBT.
Given the number of controversies cooked up by students and faculty across the country over Chick-fil-A, Campus Reform created a map showing the locations of colleges where the chicken chain has come under fire.
Last week, faculty members at Cal Poly passed a resolution through the academic senate to kick the Chick-fil-A restaurant off campus with one vice-chair member comparing the popular chain to Hooters and pornography, claiming that those companies move counter to the college’s values.
The Chick-fil-A has been a dining option at Cal Poly for 25 years and is currently under contract with the university for four more years.
In early May, the student government at Trinity University passed a resolution to ban Chick-fil-A from campus on the grounds of the chain’s “anti-LGBT+” ties.
Despite the efforts of the student body, the Trinity administration sent a campus-wide email declaring: “We do not make vendor decisions based on their political or religious beliefs” adding that the chicken restaurant is “a preferred vendor by students and the broader Trinity community.”
The New Jersey college ran into some issues in Nov. 2018 when deciding what restaurant to bring to campus. Rider University released a survey asking students to pick their preferred dining experience, which included several options, including Chick-fil-A.
When Chick-fil-A emerged as the student body top pick, the administration refused to welcome the chain on campus, citing a disconnect between the university’s values and the restaurant.
"In all of our campus decisions, we carefully weigh benefits, risks and voices representative of all of our campus constituents," Rider Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs Jan Friedman-Krupnick told Campus Reform at the time.
Several months later in February, Rider College of Business Dean Cynthia Newman announced her resignation. A decision she claims was directly in response to the Chick-fil-A ban and her own Christian beliefs.
Students at Youngstown started a petition to ban the Chick-fil-A on campus claiming that the chain gives LGBT students a “negative experience.”
The student responsible for starting the petition told Campus Reform that “Chick-fil-A is notoriously run by homophobes” and that “the petition was more to start a discussion than actually get Chick-fil-A closed.”
In response, Youngstown officials announced that “the university recently formed a new Inclusion and Awareness Committee to help us better appreciate our diversity and to help us work together to overcome and prevent societal divisions" but gave no indication the fast-food chain would be affected.
The student government at Johns Hopkins passed a resolution challenging a proposal to bring Chick-fil-A to campus, directing school administrators to find other “non-discriminatory alternatives.”
“The SGA does not support the proposal of a Chick-fil-A, in a current or future sense, particularly on any location that is central to student life,” the resolution states, adding that Chick-fil-A’s stance on LGBT individuals is a “microaggression.”
However, the resolution does not formally ban the restaurant from campus. Currently, there are no plans to bring a Chick-fil-A to campus although a JHU student told Campus Reform that there appears to be a substantial amount of support by students for a contract with the chain.
The Pennsylvania college student government made clear that the proposed addition of a Chick-fil-A would threaten the safety of students.
“I’ve tried very hard within the last semester and a half to promote this safe environment for the LGBTQ community. So I fear that with the Chick-fil-A being in [the on-campus food court] that maybe people will feel that safe place is at risk,” Rachel Coury, a student member of the Gay-Straight Alliance on campus told Campus Reform.
According to a university statement, the option of adding a Chick-fil-A to campus was sparked by a student survey that expressed a campus desire for more chicken options.
A student government resolution to bring Chick-fil-A to campus was revoked after students criticized the chain owners’ stance on LGBT relationships.
“When we learned more about Chick-fil-A and its corporate values and discriminatory policies, and after hearing these concerns raised by a section of our student body, we concluded that these corporate values are not aligned with our values as a student body, and it is not in the best interested of our UNK community to pursue Chick-fil-A right now,” the student government president wrote in a statement.
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