Another day, another college up in arms over the presence of a mere Chick-fil-A restaurant.
Liberal students and faculty at Youngstown State University are supporting a Change.org petition calling for the removal of a Chick-fil-A from campus grounds. They argue anti-LGBT comments made by the company’s deceased founder and continued financial support to family-oriented organizations disqualify them from serving students. They feel that replacing the popular fried chicken restaurant would be an act of solidarity for gay and lesbian students.
The online petition itself is quite ridiculous. Created by YSU student Emmett Ray, the petition only boasts (as I write this post) 122 supporters – not even reaching its modest goal of 200 supporters, despite the publicity. The headline of the article currently reads: “Close YSU’s Chick Fil A And Replace It With Somewhere Less Homophobic.” Which, of course, makes no grammatical sense. The petition begins by acknowledging how the popular fried chicken chain is a huge convenience for students: the Chick-fil-A is one of the few eateries open for students past 3:00pm and the only restaurant open on campus during the evening.
Not exactly the best pitch to potential students activists.
The petition closes by admitting that a removal from campus would likely not change the company’s stance on anything. Speaking to Campus Reform, Ray basically gave up on the idea of closing the restaurant. “…my goal with the petition was more to start a discussion than actually get Chick-fil-A closed.” Nevertheless, he is convinced the company is run by “homophobes.”
The petition does carry support by progressive students and teachers at Youngstown. One incensed professor commented: “I am a professor at YSU. I have not set foot up there since they became Chick-fil-A. I ate there when it was Pete’s Place, and in several previous incarnations. A long time ago it used to be a respectable place where you could take an invited speaker out to lunch and even have table service. We now have no such place and I will not support Fried Food for Homophobes, which is what I think of Chick-fil-A.”
This is by far not the first time students have called for the removal of a Chick-fil-A from their respective schools. In April, students at Duquesne University demanded a resolution calling for the school to reverse its decision to allow a Chick-fil-A to open on campus. Similar demands have been made at the University of North Texas, Fordham University, University of Nebraska Kearney – basically anywhere you have teenage social justice warriors.
Many students across the country are triggered by simple, delicious chicken sandwiches.