(Updated 7:18 p.m.)
A high-priced North Carolina liberal arts college is considering kicking Chick-fil-A off campus because of the Atlanta-based company’s leader’s position on marriage.
Several months after they were made, comments by Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy in support of traditional marriage between a man and woman continue to reverberate. Earlier this month Cathy reaffirmed his commitment to “biblical families.”
The Student Government Association at Elon, a $38,000-a-year private college in north-central North Carolina, recently voted in favor of a resolution asking administrators to stop offering Chick-fil-A sandwiches on campus, according to The Times-News newspaper.
“We are honored to serve the students, faculty and staff of Elon University and to be a part of their campus,” said Chick-fil-A spokesman Jerry Johnston in a statement Wednesday. “The Chick-fil-A culture and 66-year service tradition in all of its locations is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect – regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender. Our intent is not to engage in political or social debates.”
The Elon resolution, drafted by a campus gay-straight alliance, accuses the company of not being in compliance with Elon’s anti-discrimination policy, partly because critics say the company has funded groups considered to be anti-gay and lesbian.
The 35-11 SGA vote was made despite overwhelming support for Chick-fil-A by Elon students, alumni faculty and staff, according to a poll conducted by the student newspaper, The Pendulum, which supports keeping Chick-fil-A sandwiches on campus.
Chick-fil-A’s contract is with Aramark, Elon’s food service vendor. A university spokesman told The Times-News the college could instruct Aramark to find another vendor, but no decision has been made.
Whether Chick-fil-A is eventually dropped, however, is another matter. While many colleges have seen student protests and petitions against Chick-fil-A in the wake of Cathy’s comments, few have instituted an outright ban on the company’s sandwiches.
Elon, founded in 1889, has an enrollment of about 4,000 and ranks No. 2 among Southern universities in U.S. News & World Report’s 2013 America’s Best Colleges Guide.”
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