The Main Point: Students can boycott campus Chick-fil-A, should not demand its removal
Texas State’s Chick-fil-A has not been immune to the national controversy surrounding CEO Dan Cathy’s comments about gay marriage.
Last month, Cathy said he believes in the “biblical definition of marriage” while condemning this generation’s “prideful, arrogant attitude.” These statements prompted a firestorm of criticism across the nation. The boycott sentiments reached the university in the form of a petition calling for the removal of the restaurant from campus. The petition, which has gained more than 500 signatures, mainly takes issue with money from the on-campus Chick-fil-A potentially going toward Cathy’s funding for hateful organizations.
Texas State students absolutely have the right to boycott Chick-fil-A if this is an issue they feel strongly about. However, the thought of completely removing the restaurant from campus due to Cathy’s views is ridiculous.
Cathy’s thoughts on gay marriage are nothing new. The restaurant is closed on Sundays for traditional religious reasons and it has long been reported that Cathy donates to groups like Focus on the Family. Was it really reasonable to act shocked and outraged when he voiced his views on gay rights?
Cathy has the right to freedom of speech, just like Texas State students have the right to voice their opposition to him. That doesn’t mean students should prevent their peers from eating at Chick-fil-A by forcing the restaurant off campus. There is a diversity of vendors on campus, and students should be able to spend their money at businesses they want to support.
Even if enough students did band together to put pressure on the administration, getting rid of Chick-fil-A would be a tricky process. Texas State has a contract with Chartwells, which in turn coordinates with Chick-fil-A. Amending that contract would be a long, complicated endeavor. Beside that, administrators would be hesitant to get rid of the top-grossing restaurant at the university. Like many universities right now, Texas State is strapped for cash. It is vital that the university is able to get a percentage of the revenue from each meal trade processed at Chick-fil-A.
The fact that students are uniting together for a cause such as LGBTQ rights is encouraging. Students should voice their concerns to the administration and come together to reach common goals. However, the Chick-fil-A controversy is relatively small when compared to other more pressing university matters.
Parking, student housing, crowded classrooms, rising tuition costs — these are the issues that desperately need creative solutions for the ultimate benefit of the campus as a whole. If students really want to make a true difference at the university, those issues deserve the most attention.