Most college students would be thrilled to have the number one American fast-food chain Chick-fil-A open a restaurant at their school, but some Notre Dame University students are taking action to prevent the chain from opening an on-campus location.
One hundred eighty faculty and staff have signed on to a letter urging the school’s Campus Dining leadership to remove Chick-fil-A from the running for a new on-campus restaurant, citing the company’s politics.
Tilly Keeven-Glascock and Joey Jegier published a letter to the editor in Notre Dame’s campus newspaper, The Observer, that accuses Chick-fil-A of a “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,” the letter read.
Chick-fil-A faced major backlash as a result and pledged to stop anti-LGBTQ donations, but in 2017 the donations “resumed, including [to] the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the Paul Anderson Youth Home and the Salvation Army,” according to the letter.
It also alleged that the restaurant’s CEO, Dan Cathy, “pours his personal funds into anti-LGBTQ+ causes” and “has unapologetically broadcasted his homophobic views.” The letter says that the Human Rights Campaign, an LGBTQ+ non-profit, “gave Chick-fil-A a ‘0’ on its Corporate Equality Index due to the company’s lack of protections and healthcare”.
The letter also took issue with Chick-fil-A’s environmental footprint.
“[A]s a fast food restaurant, Chick-fil-A depends heavily on participation in animal agriculture. While people may choose to eat animal products for various reasons, factory farming is a deplorable system that Notre Dame should aim to avoid supporting,” Keeven-Glascock and Jegier argue.
“North America has an obsession with meat like no other country on Earth and it is helping destroy the planet,” the letter claims.
The students also argue that “the burden of this industry tends to fall on marginalized communities” whose “quality of life erodes in relation to their proximity to industrial animal agriculture.”
Keeven-Glascock and Jegier hit the restaurant for its offerings, saying, “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.”
The letter to the editor reportedly included a link to the students’ petition urging Campus Dining to reconsider adding the chain in favor of other options, according to Fox News which noted that, as of late Tuesday, far over 150 students and 26 faculty members have signed on.
Neither the restaurant nor Notre Dame responded to requests for comment by Fox News.
The students pledge that they “have no plans for such a large-scale disruption; rather, we wish to resolve this concern before it transforms into a larger controversy.”
The restaurant and CEO Dan Cathy have been scrutinized in the past for aforementioned donations to perceived “anti-LGBTQ+” organizations.
After pulling back donations from the Fellowship for Christian Athletes and the Salvation Army in response, President and COO of Chick-fil-A Inc. Tim Tassopoulos committed to “donate the most effective organizations in the areas of education, homelessness, and hunger. No organization will be excluded from future consideration – faith based or non-faith-based.”
Chick-fil-A has remained closed on Sundays since its founding in 1946 to allow employees a day to worship. The students and faculty of the renowned Catholic university who have signed on to the petition have not addressed the many similar principles observed by the Catholic faith.
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