Yesterday evening, new Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Laura Wankel made a presentation to Student Government Association senate detailing amazing renovations to the Curry Student Center, including a number of new vendors that are in the process of finalizing their contracts. Among these are some of the same favorites, a couple of great local options, a slew of healthy and organic choices and… Chick-fil-A.
Chick-fil-A, one of the country’s most beloved fast food restaurants, has been involved in a hotbed of controversy lately. Chick-fil-A’s charitable arm, the WinShape Foundation, has donated millions of dollars to organizations including the National Christian Foundation, Focus on the Family and Exodus International – all organizations that are proponents of “traditional marriage,” or, more frankly, are anti-gay.
I’d like to publicly dissent from the opinion of Northeastern University and the Student Government Association, who have both cast aside the concerns that have been brought to them on multiple occasions about bringing Chick-fil-A to campus. The university stands by the fact that Chick-fil-A is incredibly popular, and therefore will benefit more students than it will hurt.
It is incredibly disheartening to see Northeastern contract a company that has a proven history of supporting inequality. Northeastern has, in the past, made great strides to help those in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered community and this is a despicable step backwards.
Recently, a student at New York University began a petition of the location on their campus. The student, Hilary Dworkoski, writes in her Change.org petition that “maintaining a contract with an anti-gay vendor like Chick-fil-A undermines what makes this university so great.” Her petition has already gained more than 5,000 signatures and has attracted national media attention.
Contracting Chick-fil-A doesn’t only undermine what makes Northeastern so great, it actively makes me question whether Northeastern is great at all. Chick-fil-A not only has donated an unprecedented amount of money to “traditional marriage” organizations, but has been involved in controversy for over a year – why bring this controversy here?
When I asked Wankel why this wasn’t taken into consideration when pursuing this contract, she replied that an organization can choose what other organizations it wants to support.
I agree, Wankel, and I’d like to suggest that Northeastern, Dining Services and SGA take a long look at, by bringing Chick-fil-A to campus, the organization that they have chosen to support.
– Taylor Cotter is a senior journalism major and current Chair of Elections Committee and College of Arts, Media and Design senator for the Student Government Association.