A Geneseo student created a petition to replace Books and Bytes with a Chick-fil-A on April 10. As of Tuesday April 16, the petition received 42 signatures.
Chick-fil-A is owned by a Baptist family who has donated millions to organizations against same-sex marriage and non-traditional families, according to Black Enterprise. Due to these reasons, the restaurant doesn’t deserve a place on this campus.
Geneseo should not consider this proposal since the food chain holds discriminatory principles on marriage and lifestyle. Having this establishment on campus would likely make many students and staff feel uncomfortable and unwelcome.
In 2012, CEO Dan Cathy said that Chick-fil-A supports “the biblical definition of the family unit,” according to The New York Times. In other words, Cathy only supports a family comprised of man, wife and children not conceived out of wedlock.
Following these comments, quite a few universities across the nation began removing Chick-fil-A restaurants from their campuses. Rider University got rid of the chain as one of their new dining options for this reason.
“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,” Rider University President Gregory G. Dell’Omo said in a letter to students and faculty in November 2018, according to CBS.
Nearly a decade after the scandal, Geneseo would be progressing backwards if they considered welcoming Chick-fil-A on their campus.
The college currently has a surplus of clubs that educate the community on diversity and inclusion and offers the opportunity for students and faculty to be safe-zone trained. Implementing the proposal behind the petition would counter any progress these associations have created.
Among the reasons for this petition were the possibilities to “increase the likelihood of a student to attend this school,” as well as “increase profit” for the college, according to the description on Geneseo Speaks.
Contrary to the petitioner’s anticipations, having Chick-fil-A on campus would likely decrease future admissions. A multitude of students choose Geneseo for their seemingly diverse community.
Chick-fil-A does not represent the campus’s inclusive values and would misrepresent its type of students and faculty, depriving potential Geneseo students of the welcoming community they desire.
Those who do not share Chick-fil-A’s beliefs may boycott the dining establishment, which will leave them with no alternative for food near the academic buildings. Many students rely on Books and Bytes for a quick meal in between classes and meetings, but many would have to betray their own values in order to eat.
Replacing Books and Bytes with a new dining establishment would create unnecessary costs for the college. The current establishment is received well by students and faculty, so there is no reason to allocate funds to the proposal when there are other issues that could use the finances instead, such as additional parking lots or dormitory renovations.
Although someone in the community may share Chick-fil-A’s principles, their principles should not be represented by a dining establishment on campus. Controversy should be kept separate from dining and having a Chick-fil-A on campus would make that impossible.