Students at the University of Notre Dame are not hungry for Chick-fil-A’s famous chicken sandwiches.
On Thursday, two students published a letter to the editor in the school’s student newspaper, the Observer, demanding the school reconsider its still unsettled plan to put a Chick-fil-A in the student center. The students have also created a petition for the cause, which has now been signed by more than 60 students and a dozen faculty members.
Chief among the students’ concerns is Chick-fil-A’s “long history of antagonism toward the LGBTQ+ community.” This “antagonism” includes donations to the Salvation Army, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and the Paul Anderson Youth Home. Chick-fil-A ceased donations to these charities in 2017 after LGBTQ activists objected to the Christian charities’ stances on gay marriage.
“We have serious ethical concerns regarding Chick-fil-A and believe that a variety of other restaurants would better fit Notre Dame’s mission and our student body’s needs,” students Tilly Keeven-Glascock and Joey Jegier wrote in their letter to the editor.
The students also objected to Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy’s supposedly “homophobic views” and “regressive leadership.”
“Even though Chick-fil-A has halted the worst of its donations, patronizing Chick-fil-A means lining Cathy’s pockets,” Keeven-Glascock and Jegier wrote.
The students also noted that the Human Rights Campaign, an LGBTQ activist organization, gave Chick-fil-A a “0” on its “Corporate Equality Index.”
But it’s not just the fast-food chain’s “antagonism toward the LGBTQ+ community” that turned the students off to the restaurant. They also objected to the company’s “participation in animal agriculture.”
“Factory-farmed animals suffer brutal lives filled with abuse and cruelty,” Keevan-Glascock and Jegier wrote, adding that “animal agriculture is environmentally unsustainable.”
The students also said that Chick-fil-A is not suitable for Notre Dame’s “diverse campus community” because it does not provide options for vegetarians and vegans.
“A restaurant closed on Sundays is not best for a bustling, hungry college campus,” the Notre Dame students added.
Keeven-Glascock and Jegier offered an alternative solution to Notre Dame’s administration: bring a CoreLife Eatery to campus — a restaurant whose specialty is “greens & grains” bowls.
Earlier this year, students at Notre Dame created an Instagram account calling on the administration to put a Chick-fil-A on campus. Candidates for Notre Dame student body president have also made putting a Chick-fil-A on or near campus part of their campaign platform.
In 2012, students at Northeastern University successfully convinced their university to cancel plans to place a Chick-fil-A on campus over concerns about the chain’s “support of groups opposed to gay and lesbian rights.”
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