Notre Dame students, faculty are trying to keep Chick-fil-A off campus

A small, but vocal group of students at Notre Dame are opposing the university's consideration of adding Chick-fil-A to its dining plan.

A student op-ed criticized the restaurant's CEO for his Christian faith and stance on LGBTQ+ issues.

Over 180 University of Notre Dame students and faculty have signed an open letter opposing the addition of a Chick-Fil-A on campus. 

”While a large portion of the student body would approve of this decision, we hope to show that many of us oppose the addition of Chick-fil-A,” the open letter states.

Notre Dame’s campus dining had released a statement on Instagram stating that the school’s updated dining plans are not finalized and are considering a “variety of future restaurant options, including Chick-fil-A.”

On July 1, two Notre Dame undergraduates published an op-ed in the school’s student newspaper, The Observer, arguing that Chick-fil-A should not be on campus. The students state that they have “serious ethical concerns” about the company and that a different restaurant would better fit the Catholic university’s mission.

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“Our first concern relates to Chick-fil-A’s long history of antagonism toward the LGBTQ+ community. Over the past two decades, Chick-fil-A has donated significant sums to groups that oppose LGBTQ+ rights. From 2003 to 2012, the restaurant’s charitable arm gave over $5 million to queerphobic groups, including groups supporting conversion therapy. Despite public outcry and promises to halt anti-LGBTQ+ donations, in 2017, the donations to anti-LGBTQ+ organizations resumed, including the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the Paul Anderson Youth Home, and the Salvation Army,” the op-ed states. 

The students raised further concerns regarding Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy’s Christian faith and personal opposition to same-sex marriage, citing his leadership as “regressive.”

“Chick-fil-A is simply not a great restaurant for Notre Dame, and there is no need for another fast food restaurant on campus. Consisting primarily of fried chicken and potatoes, the menu at Chick-fil-A does not supply an array of options suitable for a diverse campus community.”

Similarly, in 2012, students at Northeastern University persuaded their university to eliminate plans to place a Chick-fil-A on campus over concerns about the company’s “support of groups opposed to gay and lesbian rights.”

However, a large number of Notre Dame students are in favor of adding Chick-fil-A to campus dining. Earlier this year, a group of students created an Instagram account urging the university’s administration to bring a Chick-fil-A to campus, citing that “the fact that Notre Dame does not have @chickfila on campus is a Chick-fil-Abomination.”  In fact, in 2017, the then student body president reportedly pledged that Chick-fil-A was “coming to stadium concessions in 2018.”  

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Chick-fil-A was founded on Biblical principles in 1946 by and holds true to its original mission, “To glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us. To have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.” Unlike many fast food establishments, Chick-fil-A’s restaurants are closed on Sundays to allow employees to rest, worship, and spend time with family and friends.

Campus Reform reached out to the University of Notre Dame for comment; this article will be updated accordingly.

Editor’s Note: After publication of this article, Notre Dame announced that construction on the Chick-fil-a will commence August 2021.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @ameliascarponi