News and Commentary

Faculty At Kansas University Want Chick-Fil-A Thrown Off Campus: It’s A ‘Bastion Of Bigotry’
Photo by Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

At Kansas University, some faculty members, calling Chick-fil-A a “bastion of bigotry,” are fighting against allowing America’s most popular fast-food chain to move from a campus basement to the school’s main student center as well as sponsor the “Chick-fil-A Coin Toss” for every home football game. The fast-food chain has operated for 15 years in the basement of KU’s Wescoe Hall, as reported.

Members of the “Sexuality & Gender Diversity Faculty and Staff Council” wrote a letter to the university stating, “In the Spring, we spoke out to denounce the decision to relocate the business, which has a history of supporting organizations that are hostile to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people, families, and communities.” The letter named Exodus International, which supports so-called “conversion therapy,” along with the Family Research Council (FRC); the letter cited the leftist Southern Poverty Law Center, calling the FRC a “hate group.” The letter sniped, “While many Christians are supportive of the LGBTQ community and many are members themselves, the culture of Chick-fil-A fosters hate and discrimination on multiple levels … While we recognize that contractual obligations did not allow the complete removal of the brand from campus, we are outraged that they have been allowed to move from the Wescoe Underground to a new, bigger, more central location on the University of Kansas campus. Despite our denouncements and the university’s own moves to increase the campus’s diversity, equity, and inclusion, KU granted Chick-fil-A, a bastion of bigotry, a prime retail location in the heart of our campus.”

Speaking of Chick-fil-A’s move to the Memorial Union, the letter stated, “The Union was one of the first places on campus to incorporate gender inclusive bathrooms for the comfort and validation of the experiences and range of identities of the people who walk our halls. The arrival of Chick-fil-A in this building is insulting, counterproductive, and unacceptable.”

The letter continues, “We demand a guarantee from the Chancellor, KU Athletics, and the Provost that these contracts will not be renewed once expired.”

Acting provost Carl W. Lejuez responded to the LGBTQ actions by asserting, “Moving forward, I believe it is important to have thoughtful discussion and deliberation when we enter into contracts. In the future, we will do so in a manner that is transparent and informed by our commitment to affirm diversity and to be a welcoming and inclusive campus,” according to the University Daily Kansas, as Fox News reported.

But College Republicans at the university are fighting back; Garrett Miller, a spokesman for the College Republicans group at the university, noted of the fast-food chain’s university outlet, “Usually any time of day it’s just packed,” told, “Chick-fil-A doesn’t discriminate against the LGBTQ community. Anybody can go in and get their chicken. If you don’t like Chick-Fil-A, you can go somewhere else.”

Additionally, the College Republicans created a Facebook page titled, “Keep Chick-fil-A at KU” and a petition to keep the fast-food outlet on the campus. Miller noted that GOP congressman Steve Watkins would supply Chick-fil-A at the College Republicans’ first meeting of the fall semester.

The mission statement of the KU College Republicans states: “It is the mission of the University of Kansas College Republicans to be open and welcoming to a large and diverse swath of ideals and to promote conservative values on campus to lift all Jayhawks. In honorably furthering those ideals, KUCRs campaign on a national, state, local, and campus level, and further discussions on the conservative solutions of limited government, fiscal responsibility, strong national defense, personal accountability, adherence to the Constitution and more.”