Some cry fowl over Chick-fil-A
Published: Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Updated: Wednesday, January 19, 2011 00:01
Changes are coming to the Perch next year, and with its conversion to a food court is the question of which new options students will have for dining on campus.
One option that is being proposed is Chick-fil-A, the popular quick-service chicken restaurant chain. This idea, however, is being met with both approval and resistance.
Chick-fil-A is a Christian-based organization well known for its policy of not being open for business on Sundays to ensure that restaurant owners and employees have "an opportunity to
worship, spend time with family and friends or just plain rest from the work week."
But Chick-fil-A has been accused of taking its Christian principles a step further, and has come under fire for allegedly sponsoring a group called Focus on the Family, an organization that is against gay marriage and abortion rights.
A Facebook group titled "NO Chick-fil-A at FGCU" has generated a great deal of attention and became a debate forum for students who both support and oppose the addition of an on-campus Chick-fil-A
Rashad Davis, a sophomore political science major, started the group last month.
The page states that the Student Union is a place where all students should feel safe and welcome, and "by allowing a company with a history of bigotry and homophobia into our campus, we potentially allow FGCU to place monetary gain above the comfort and safety of the very students who are expected to frequent the Union Building."
Among the other major points made by the group page is the argument that there is already a Chick-fil-A restaurant about 3.5 miles from campus.
"We have the right to choose where our money is going. Giving money to an organization that supports anti-gay networks and isn't environmentally conscious is the wrong thing to do. And the more we pay them, the bigger they grow," Davis says.
In addition to the concerns about discrimination, the page also raises the issue of the environmental impact that a Chick-fil-A might bring to campus. Chick-fil-A uses styrofoam cups, which are not biodegradable and have several other alleged drawbacks to human and environmental health that are listed and cited on the group's page.
"We don't want Chick-Fil-A on our campus because of its complete lack of environmental programs, policies, or practices (except for recycling at their college bowl game, which has nothing to do with us) and its very close involvement and funding of numerous individuals and organizations which actively discriminate against people because of sexual orientation," said Tyler Offerman, a senior majoring in environmental studies.
There are students, however, who support Chick-fil-A on campus. Michelle Bertrand, a sophomore majoring in resort and hospitality, "would love it."
"A lot of people really like their food, and I don't feel that Chick-fil-A forces any kind of religious or political beliefs on me," she said. "Everybody has different opinions. I don't feel that those opinions are a good enough reason to bar a restaurant from campus."