Northeastern University may be the latest in a series of colleges to raise concerns over Chick-fil-A's reported support of "anti-gay" groups, but school officials went an extra step by squashing plans for a campus-based franchise of the fast food chain.
The Boston Globe reports that the university's student senate passed a resolution, 31 to 5 with eight abstentions, "stating that the student body does not support bringing CFA [Chick-fil-A] to campus" on Monday night.
"The decision tonight was based on all of the student feedback we've been receiving," the Globe quotes Northeastern Student Government Association as saying on Twitter, adding in a later re-tweet that: "Student concerns reflected CFA's history of donating to anti-gay organizations."
The franchise would have been one of several food vendors, chosen based on student feedback, to open at the university's soon-to-be-renovated Curry Center later this year, according to The Huntington News, a campus-based newspaper.
A Northeastern University spokesperson released a statement to The Boston Herald, stating that officials were pleased with the outcome. "We are proud of the decision that affirms our university's commitment to be an inclusive, diverse community that is respectful of all," spokeswoman Renata Nyul said. "The successful process is also a testament to the great working relationship between the university administration, the Student Government Association and the Graduate Student Government."
Of course, the Northeastern move follows a number of similar student protests at other universities by groups who say they object to Chick-fil-A's support of financial support of Focus On The Family, Exodus International, and the Family Research Council, among other groups. In January, New York University freshman Hillary Dworkoski launched a petition calling for NYU to close its Chick-fil-A franchise, reportedly the only one in Manhattan. The petition, which can be viewed here, currently has over 10,000 signatures. The issue has also arisen at Loyola, Marshall, and Duke, among other places.
Still, in an interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy defended his company, calling blogosphere reports "folklore." Cathy, who is the son of company founder Truett Cathy, noted, "We're not anti-anybody. Our mission is to create raving fans."