Rider University, a private university in central New Jersey, polled its students this past spring, on what new restaurant they would like to see come to the campus.
The results showed Chick-fil-A as being a favorite. Despite this, when the university released another survey for the fall, they had removed Chick-fil-A as an option.
Why bother polling your students if you're just going to censor their voices or opinions? If the survey results showed Chick-fil-A as a favorite, that tells me that the students clearly want it on the campus.
If the students were not in favor of Chick-fil-A, or felt offended by the presence of the franchise on the campus, surely one would think that results would have reflected that.
In a letter posted to the schools website on Friday, which was addressed to the Rider community, the administrators stated, that their reasons for removing the restaurant from their survey options were in part due to Chick-fil-A being, "widely perceived to be in opposition to the LGBTQ+ community." The university also stated that they understood that some may view this as a "form of exclusion," but that they wanted to be "faithful" to their "values of inclusion." The university plans to hold a campus forum so that all voices can be heard on the issue.
The Chick-fil-A franchise's owner, is widely known for supporting Christian values. It's official corporate purpose is, "to glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us." As a consequence, Chick-fil-A is no stranger to being in the midst of heated controversy. I remember in 2012 such controversy and hate came after Dan T. Cathy, the son of S. Truett Cathy who founded Chick-fil-A, told the Baptist Press in an interview that, Chick-fil-A supported "the biblical definition of the family unit."
People got in fights with their families and friend over them going to grab a meal at Chick-fil-A.
People boycotted Chick-fil-A.
Businesses boycotted and cut ties with Chick-fil-A over their beliefs.
It's understandable right?
The President of a well-established franchise gives an interview saying that the franchise believes in the Biblical definition of what a family is. It's understandable that people who don't agree with the "Biblical definition" of a family unit would be offended or even attacked.
People want to grab food and take their families somewhere safe. They want to sit down and relax and feel welcomed. They don't want to have to worry about being attacked or judged. Especially if you're traveling and you're looking for a quick place to grab a meal before getting back on the road again.
Yet, the fact is, there has never been any evidence that the personal religious beliefs of the President of Chick-fil-A have ever translated into discriminatory actions against anyone. No one has been refused service. No one has been refused employment.
What there is plenty of evidence of is that Chick-fil-A provides outstanding food and outstanding service.
Since 2012, Chick-fil-A has climbed it's way to being one of the top fast food franchises. In 2018, for the third year in a row, Chick-fil-A was ranked as number one in customer service. The franchise which is known to have flexible work schedules for their employees, offer scholarships, and free food and it is also closed on Sundays. Despite being closed on Sundays, Chick-fil-A is predicted to be the third largest franchise in the United States by 2020.
THE THIRD LARGEST FRANCHISE. BY 2020. That's two years away.
Every time I drive by a Chick-fil-A it is slammed, the drive thru often looks like the scene of a mass exodus during a zombie apocalypse. There are often so many cars in the parking lot, that I often think, "Wow, those people are going to be sitting there for an hour."
When in fact, that's actually wrong. It's at most more like a ten-minute wait for the drive thru - maybe even less.
Chick-fil-A has started using technology to speed up and make their drive thru's run more efficiently. The franchise often has employees outside with tablets to more readily take orders, and in fact they even let you pay right then with a card on hand so what by the time you get to the counter all you have to do it grab your drinks and food and enjoy the rest of your day.
If anything, Chick-fil-A has shown that they are more than inclusive to all people and families. Despite the franchise’s Christian values. Or perhaps because of them?
Maybe it's Rider University that needs to step aside and be inclusive.