Rider University in New Jersey is removing Chick-fil-A from the menu of restaurant possibilities for its campus.
After students at the college voted for the fast-food restaurant as their top choice in the spring, the university sent out another poll, this time leaving the chicken chain off the list of possibilities, the college confirmed.
“Although it was included in previous surveys, Chick-fil-A was removed as one of the options based on the company’s record widely perceived to be in opposition to the LGBTQ+ community,” Gregory G. Dell’Omo, Rider’s president, and Leanna Fenneberg, vice president for student affairs, wrote Friday in a letter to the Rider community.
The university has asked its Center for Diversity and Inclusion to organize a campus forum so that the voices of students, faculty, staff and others can continue to be heard, the college officials added. They said: “We fully acknowledge an organization’s right to hold these beliefs, just as we acknowledge the right for individuals in our community and elsewhere to also personally hold the same beliefs.”
“No policy of discrimination”
The College Park, Georgia-based chain refuted the notion that it was not welcoming to all.
“Chick-fil-A is a restaurant company focused on food, service and hospitality, and our restaurants and licensed locations on college campuses welcome everyone,” a company spokesperson said in an emailed statement. “We have no policy of discrimination against any group, and we do not have a political or social agenda.”
The chain declined to elaborate further. Chick-fil-A was the target of nationwide protests in 2012 after CEO Dan Cathy voiced his support for “the biblical definition of the family unit.”
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey in June found himself backpedaling after tweeting about using Chick-fil-A’s mobile app, saying he had forgotten about the fast-food chain’s history of opposing gay marriage.
The private company’s conservative Christian leanings also came into view during the summer when then-EPA head Scott Pruitt explained why he had looked into having his wife own a Chick-fil-A franchise. “I love, she loves, we love Chick-fil-A as a franchise of faith,” Pruitt told a reporter.