Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Stick it to the chicken: SMU group seeks removal of campus Chick-fil-A
University officials say the only way to warrant removing the restaurant is if revenues drop substantially for 13 consecutive weeks.
DALLAS SPECTRUM will be leading a boycott of the on-campus Chick-fil-A because of Chick-fil-A’s actions as a company.
SPECTRUM is an organization where people of all sexual orientations come together and help stand for equality in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.
SPECTRUM is leading this boycott because of Chick-fil-A’s donations of millions of dollars to hate groups that actively support anti-gay initiatives. These groups include conversion therapy for gays and lesbians, the criminalization of homosexuality, and the support of the infamous Uganda “kill gays” bill.
The idea of the boycott came from Chick-fil-A’s presence in the news in mid-July.
“However, the real fuel for this was the political will of several SMU students that had emailed me over the summer and the beginning of the school year that were highly disturbed by the actions of the company and that were looking towards SPECTRUM to help facilitate action,” SPECTRUM Co-President Harvey Luna said.
“SPECTRUM has always had a moral obligation to this campus when it comes to facilitating action on such political issues.”
SPECTRUM began this a 13-week long boycott on September 12.
The 13-week idea came from Campus Services. Luna told The Daily Campus that he sat with Julie Wiksten, the associate vice president of Campus Services, and Michael Marr, the senior director of dining services, during the first week of school to investigate SPECTRUM’s options moving forward with the issue of having Chick-fil-A on campus.
Wiksten and Marr explained that since there were years left until the contract expired and that there is very little the university could do at the time, according to Luna.
“Given the meeting I had with university officials, the only way to warrant removing & replacing the on campus Chick-fil-A was if its revenues go down substantially for 13 consecutive weeks,” Luna said.
“Thus, our 13-week boycott aims at achieving our final goal which is to successfully remove the on campus Chick-fil-A from SMU.”
Wiksten told The Daily Campus “the University contracts with ARAMARK to manage and operate dining services on campus.”
In turn, ARAMARK contracts with the various branded concepts once the brands are mutually agreed upon by ARAMARK and the university. The university does not contract directly with branded concepts. We are constantly assessing the brands on campus to be sure we have the right mix.”
The organization wants to bring in individual students and other SMU organizations through educating the student body. SPECTRUM will begin tabling in hopes to educate the public about practices of the company and the consequences of spending money at Chick-fil-A.
“I believe that food shouldn’t have to do with our freedom to love,” freshman biology and advertising major Peter Ngo said. “When Chick-fil-A is publicly supporting anti-gay organization that try to threaten that freedom, a boycott of the restaurant is a non-violent protest from my part.
The initial launch will include tabling, petitions, and a pledge for individuals to sign that they will not eat at the on-campus Chick-fil-A. The tabling will begin on September 24 and continue every Monday for the following 13 weeks.
“As SMU begins to learn more details about where the financial contributions of Chick-fil-A go and what it funds, I expect this issue to be framed around dignity and respect. The reason why this cause is so important is because it goes beyond the free speech issue we hear in the national debate,” Luna said.
“When we spend $6 for a Chick-fil-A meal, we cannot truly say that we respect the LGBT community because we know where that money will be going. And I think that with that realization, people will not sell themselves or their friends short. Our values are worth more than a $6 Chick-fil-a combo meal.”
Luna’s goal, beyond removing Chick-fil-A from campus, is to increase student body awareness about sensitive political issues that might disproportionately affect the LGBT community.
Pegasus News Content partner - The Daily Campus
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