University officials should reconsider supporting Chick-fil-A
Published: Monday, September 3, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, September 4, 2012 20:09
Allowing Chick-fil-A to be on campus violates university pro-diversity regulations, an open letter to the university’s administration and student body:
In Policy Number: 4-1, the university defines “Diversity” by stating:
“We define diversity broadly to include all of the ways in which individuals differ from each other. We prize diversity because it helps create an educational environment that best prepares students to contribute to our increasingly interconnected and global society.”
By allowing Chick-fil-A to operate on our campus the university is encouraging discrimination and exclusion by sending money toward an organization that supports anti-gay organizations such as the Pennsylvania Family Institute, Focus on the Family, Exodus International, and others. The corporation’s charitable arm, WinShape, holds conferences for opponents of gay marriage and praises their work. This charitable arm’s Retreat program puts a blanket ban on gay couples using their facilities, because they “do not accept homosexual couples.”
Chick-fil-A’s main charity, the one they created as well as almost exclusively fund, is the WinShape Foundation. WinShape’s actions clearly violate university Policy Number: 4-40. The following statement is provided on their website about a major project they work on called the “Winshape Retreat,” a couples retreat where couples go to work on their relationships:
“WinShape Retreat defines marriage from the Biblical standard as being between one man and one woman. Groups/Individuals are welcome who offer wholesome, educational conferences and programs that are compatible with Biblical values and WinShape’s purpose.”
When asked about their policies on same-sex couples, WinShape wrote back, “We do not accept homosexual couples.” This clear statement addresses Winshape’s conflict with diversity as defined by the university. Since part of the profits from the Chick-fil-A on campus go to this organization, it is fair to say that the university is supporting this organization and their beliefs with their financial “speech.”
The university has structured its policies to exclude discrimination from all of its activities. As stated in Policy Number: 4-40:
“The University of Delaware is committed to assuring equal opportunity to all persons and does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, sex, age, religion, national origin, veteran or handicapped status, or gender identity and expression, or sexual orientation in its educational programs, activities, admissions or employment practices.”
According to the Miriam-Webster Dictionary, “activity” is defined as “an organizational unit for performing a specific function.” Surely if the university is contracting with another organization, be it Aramark or Chick-fil-A itself, it is taking part in an “activity” which promotes discrimination and exclusion against people who are not heterosexual. According to their policy, it is against the university’s own regulations to contract with or provide business space to an organization like Chick-fil-A.
Lastly, Chick-fil-A has supplied material with their food that could be considered exclusionary such as CDs of radio shows produced by Focus on the Family. Focus on the Family is an organization that, in 2005, was listed among major groups that drive the “anti-gay crusade” according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. These acts further illustrate just how vast the rift between the university’s policy and the actions of Chick-fil-A are.