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Professor petitions to remove Chick-fil-A

Published: Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, September 5, 2012 16:09

Chick-fil-A in the Marshall Student Center serves thousands of students a year, but an online petition started by a USF professor on Change.org is calling for the vendor to be removed from campus.


Students across the country have been protesting Chick-fil-A restaurants since the corporation’s president and CEO, Dan Cathy, made comments condemning gay marriage earlier this year after the chicken chain came under fire for donating to conservative organizations such as Focus On the Family, the Family Research Council and Exodus International, each commonly criticized for their anti-gay rights positions.


Scott Ferguson, an assistant professor of humanities at USF, created the petition to remove the restaurant from campus, and he’s not alone. Petitions are being signed for Chick-fil-A to be removed from numerous other college campuses as well, with one liberal arts college in North Carolina banning the chain from their campus.


The petition, which had over 650 signatures as of Tuesday night, reads:

“As a campus that stands for diversity and inclusion, the University of South Florida should not fund a company that supports anti-equality measures. LGBT rights are human rights and no university should cooperate with a group that is openly against human rights. By removing the Chick-fil-A vendor from the Marshall (Student) Center, the USF community will affirm its commitment to all of its members.”


Ferguson said he did not wish to comment to The Oracle.


Signers of the petition which include USF students, faculty and staff are asked to include their full name and their reason for supporting the petition.

Ellwood Janny wrote, “In my opinion, having Chick-fil-A on our campus does not send a positive message about diversity or respect.”


Nathan Warren wrote, “Chick-fil-A has blatantly donated its corporate funds to hate organizations that wish to legislate the denouncement of equal rights to U.S. citizens based on sexual orientation.”


Some students, however, aren’t as passionate about getting rid of the Marshall Student Center’s chicken chain.


“I live off campus, and don’t have a meal plan,” Alexander Bentancor, a sophomore majoring in engineering said.  “Chick-fil-A is like the most affordable option here.”


Shanice Thompson, president People Respecting Individual Diversity and Equality, said in an email to The Oracle that “the removal of Chick-fil-A from the University of South Florida is a testament to the better treatment of people.”


Thompson said Chick-fil-A’s presence at the university elicits an image that USF stands with the ideals expressed by the company’s president, but said she believes USF “is a truly progressive university” and is “ever-changing and growing in positive directions.”


Cathy, who has visited college campuses as recently as Tuesday, is looking for “common ground” with activists, according to The Advocate, a LGBT rights publication.


Aramark, which handles restaurant contracts at USF, was unavailable for comment at the time of printing.

 

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7 comments

Anonymous
Thu Oct 11 2012 08:15
I am so sick of gay people pushing their ideals on everyone and getting their panties in a twist when someone else has a different stance. I do not understand how such a relatively small population of our country thinks they get to blatantly change everything to their liking.
Anonymous
Sat Sep 29 2012 12:13
Can't we have a Popeye's instead? Their chicken is much better anyway.
Anonymous
Thu Sep 13 2012 11:09
This whole issue is being blown out of proportion. It is not like Chick-Fil-A is refusing to serve anyone because of their sexual orientation. Furthermore, did it really come as a surprise to anyone that the CHRISTIAN CEO of a company that closes on Sunday to observe the Holy Sabbath day would have any other opinion on LGBT? I completely support LGBT rights, but I also support freedom of speech. Therefore, I choose to accept that the CEO is of a different opinon and respect him and his opinions, as I would hope that he would respect me and my opinions. Plus they have good chicken!
Anonymous
Thu Sep 13 2012 11:08
This whole issue is being blown out of proportion. It is not like Chick-Fil-A is refusing to serve anyone because of their sexual orientation. Furthermore, did it really come as a surprise to anyone that the CHRISTIAN CEO of a company that closes on Sunday to observe the Holy Sabbath day would have any other opinion on LGBT? I completely support LGBT rights, but I also support freedom of speech. Therefore, I choose to accept that the CEO is of a different opinon and respect him and his opinions, as I would hope that he would respect me and my opinions. Plus they have good chicken!
Anonymous
Fri Sep 7 2012 11:56
It is the owner's religion that people are protesting. Is that what diversity and respect looks like on a university campus?

If the student population does not like the company's stand on issues, they should not spend money there.

One more point. The students are protesting a company's stand on an issue that is illegal in this state.
Thad Barkley
Thu Sep 6 2012 11:34
While I applaud this, it won't change anything. If Aramark (the vendor who runs USF's dining facilities) wants Chick-Fil-A to stay, they'll stay.

If the CEO of Starbuck's flipped out on national tv shouting racial epithets and a dead hooker was found in his trunk, do you think their 3 (or is it 4 now) locations on campus would be shut down? If it's profitable for the school, it ain't going anywhere.

Anonymous
Wed Sep 5 2012 10:31
If you don't like it don't eat there. Stop stepping on my rights to chose where I eat.




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