Eat Less Chikin? Why Are Colleges Picking on Chick-fil-A?


Here we go again.

In what seems to be something of an annual cycle on American university campuses these days, students at two universities have taken steps to ban Chick-fil-A, the nation’s top-ranked fast food chicken restaurant chain. Chick-fil-A’s sin? Comments CEO Dan Cathy made back in 2012 in support of biblical marriage. 

Late last week, mere talk of bringing Chick-fil-A to a food court at Lutheran-affiliated Valparaiso University in Indiana ruffled feathers of a gay student group, which started an online petition to “raise awareness” about how the restaurant goes against the university’s mission of “diversity” and “inclusion.”

With the apparent irony of her views lost upon her, petition founder Selena Schraven called for the exclusion of faith-driven values from the campus because Chick-fil-A’s presence will “negatively impact the entire university, greater Valparaiso community, and its reputation” and create a “safety issue among the entire community” that is “completely unacceptable.”  

For these students at Valparaiso, the fact that Chick-fil-A made a corporate decision three years ago to stop all donations to pro-biblical marriage groups in the wake of a national media firestorm simply isn’t good enough. “It’s too soon,” said Schraven.  

Similarly, the Student Government Association at Johns Hopkins University recently passed a resolution “vehemently opposing” any hypothetical consideration of plans to bring Chick-fil-A to campus—branding its presence as a “microaggression” because of the company’s “anti-gay marriage sentiments.”

Attacks like these on faith-driven brands like Chick-fil-A beg some important questions in the marketplace:

  1. Why are the consumer needs and desires of the majority of students on campuses that like Chick-fil-A ignored? Don’t they get a say?  
  2. If accommodations are made for other groups in the rich texture of American culture—including Muslims—why not as well for Christians?
  3. Why are companies that operate on faith-compatible values singled out for punishment by those calling the loudest for tolerance and diversity?
  4. For companies like Chick-fil-A that have taken active steps to appease their critics, what more do they have to do to be considered acceptable?

Tell us what you think. 

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