A group of students, faculty, and alumni at Notre Dame University sent a letter asking the campus dining leadership to ban Chick-fil-A from the Indiana school’s retail dining master plan.
The open letter (full text below), which was signed by approximately 180 students, faculty, and alumni, follows a 720-word letter that two undergraduates sent to campus newspaper The Observer, listing their grievances against the fast food chain.
“The letter writers, Tilly Keeven-Glascock and Joey Jegier, accused Chick-fil-A of donating millions to ‘queerphobic groups,’ which they said include the nonprofit Fellowship of Christian Athletes. And they objected to owner Dan Cathy’s personal donations to organizations like the National Christian Charitable Foundation, which they alleged ‘funds hate groups,'” Fox News reported.
“Keeven-Glascock and Jegier also claimed that because the restaurant chain gets its food from industrialized farming, it’s bad for the environment, ‘deplorable’ and places a ‘burden’ on ‘marginalized communities,'” Fox News added. “‘North America has an obsession with meat like no other country on Earth and it is helping destroy the planet,’ wrote the duo, a university senior and junior. (North America is a continent.)”
Read the full letter to the campus dining leadership below:
Dear Campus Dining,
Before we get to our request, we wish to thank the Campus Dining leadership for your work creating a quality dining experience for students during a global pandemic. You went above-and-beyond this past year, adapting the dining halls to meet CDC and University guidelines, providing impressive themed dinners, and making an excellent vegan line in the dining halls.
As you continue to improve Notre Dame’s on-campus dining, we wish to make our voices heard on an important issue. On May 12, the Campus Dining Instagram announced that leadership is considering the fast food restaurant Chick-fil-A as part of a new retail dining master plan. While a large portion of the student body would approve of this decision, we hope to show that many of us oppose the addition of Chick-fil-A.
We believe, as we wrote in The Observer, that there are a multitude of reasons to oppose Chick-fil-A: its anti-LGBTQ+ activism, reliance on animal agriculture, and lack of accommodations for students with special dietary needs, to name a few. Bringing Chick-fil-A to campus would run contrary to Notre Dame’s commitment to inclusion and desire to create good in the world. So, we ask that you remove Chick-fil-A from your considerations and instead consider other additions to our retail dining.
Students at other universities, such as NYU and Northeastern, have made headlines in their attempts to block Chick-fil-A. We have no plans for such a large-scale disruption; rather, we wish to resolve this concern before it transforms into a larger controversy. Thank you for considering our request, and we hope that this is the starter of wider dialogue on how to fulfill students’ desires while also considering the ethics of what we consume.
In a similar letter sent last week, Democratic state legislators in New York urged New York State Thruway Authority Matthew Driscoll to ban Chick-fil-A from state rest stops because of the restaurant’s donations to allegedly anti-LGBT organizations.