Col­lege in up­roar over Chick-fil-A’s new out­post

Chain’s stance on gay mar­riage irks stu­dents

The Washington Times Daily - - NATION - BY BRAD­FORD RICHARD­SON

Stu­dents at Duquesne Univer­sity are pe­ti­tion­ing their school to re­con­sider a plan to bring Chick-fil-A to cam­pus, ar­gu­ing the fast-food restau­rant’s sup­port for tra­di­tional mar­riage would cre­ate an un­safe en­vi­ron­ment for gay stu­dents.

Niko Mar­tini, a stu­dent sen­a­tor at the Pitts­burgh univer­sity, filed a pe­ti­tion with the stu­dent gov­ern­ment ask­ing the school to re­con­sider the in­clu­sion of Chick-fil-A in its Op­tions Food Court.

“Chick-fil-A has a ques­tion­able his­tory on civil rights and hu­man rights,” Mr. Mar­tini said in a state­ment to the stu­dent news­pa­per, The Duke. “I think it’s im­per­a­tive the univer­sity chooses to do busi­ness with or­ga­ni­za­tions that co­in­cide with the [univer­sity’s] mis­sion and ex­pec­ta­tions they give stu­dents re­gard­ing di­ver­sity and in­clu­sion.”

Duquesne is a Catholic univer­sity, and the church teaches that all ho­mo­sex­ual acts are “in­trin­si­cally evil.”

The stu­dent gov­ern­ment did not adopt that res­o­lu­tion, but agreed to con­sider another mea­sure vet­ting the views of the pop­u­lar chicken sand­wich shop.

Chick-fil-A has been a bane of the left since CEO Dan Cathy said the com­pany sup­ports “the bib­li­cal def­i­ni­tion of the fam­ily unit.”

In 2015 the stu­dent gov­ern­ment at Johns Hop­kins Univer­sity de­manded the re­moval of Chick-fil-A from cam­pus, call­ing its pres­ence a “mi­croag­gres­sion,” Cam­pus Re­form re­ported.

And New York City Mayor Bill de Bla­sio last year en­cour­aged his con­stituents not to eat at a new Chick-fil-A lo­ca­tion that opened in Queens.

Rachel Coury, pres­i­dent of the Duquesne gaystraight alliance, said she fears Chick-fil-A will roll back ef­forts to cre­ate a safe en­vi­ron­ment for gay stu­dents on cam­pus.

“I’ve tried very hard within the last se­mes­ter and a half to pro­mote this safe en­vi­ron­ment for the LGBTQ+ com­mu­nity,” Ms. Coury told The Duke. “So I fear that with the Chick-fil-A … maybe peo­ple will feel that safe place is at risk.”

She said it would mean a lot to the LGBT com­mu­nity “if some­one could make a state­ment to elim­i­nate the fear of be­ing marginal­ized by hav­ing this busi­ness on cam­pus.”

De­spite the con­cerns of some mem­bers of the Duquesne com­mu­nity, The Duke re­ports stu­dent re­sponse to the planned Chick-fil-A has been “mostly pos­i­tive.”

“I think it gives us another op­tion, and it’s more food choices that make us com­pa­ra­ble to other col­leges that have a lot more chain restau­rants on their cam­pus, which is some­thing I think we lack,” com­puter sci­ence stu­dent Madi­son Sef­frin told The Duke.

“It’s al­most in­evitable that a place that closes its doors on a Sun­day will also not sup­port some of the things that I sup­port,” she added.

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