The student government of Trinity University, a private liberal arts college in Texas affiliated with the Presbyterian Church, has voted unanimously to ban food from fast-food restaurant chain Chick-fil-A for their record on LGBT issues.
Chick-fil-A does not have a restaurant on the campus, but its food is made available on a rotating basis, typically once every two weeks, along with food from other restaurant chains at the Commons Food Court, the San Antonio Express-News reported.
In a resolution adopted May 1, the student government association of the college cited Chick-fil-A’s donations to the Salvation Army, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Paul Anderson Youth Home, as well as its score of zero on the Washington-based Human Rights Campaign’s 2015 Corporate Equality Index “for failing to protect their LGBT+ employees from discrimination in the workplace.”
“Chick-fil-a donated 1.8 million dollars to anti-LGBT+ organizations in 2017, such as the Paul Anderson Youth Home, the Salvation Army, and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, according to their most recent available tax return,” the resolution said.
“The sentiment displayed at the ‘Speaking of Chick-Fil-A’ forum demonstrated that students disapprove of having Chick-fil-a on campus in Revolve, and would advocate for a comparable substitute that doesn't conflict with Trinity’s values. The negative consequences of having Chick-fil-a on campus outweigh the desires of those who are in favor of keeping it on campus,” it noted.
Ty Tinker, student government president, told the San Antonio Express-News that the association decided to take up the issue after “a lot of proactive folks, including PRIDE (Trinity’s student LGBT group), came to student government and university administrators.”
The student government resolutions are nonbinding, Tinker said, noting that they are a way to make recommendations to school administrators.
Discussions about the presence of Chick-fil-A at Trinity have been ongoing since the city council for San Antonio voted 6-4 to remove Chick-fil-A from a project at their airport.
Isaiah Mitchell, president of the Trinity chapter of the Young Conservatives of Texas who gathered with other students at an off-campus event to protest the targeting of Chick-fil-A by the student government, argued that Chick-fil-A does not harm the LGBT community.
“The Salvation Army, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, these other organizations that Chick-fil-A supports, do not actually cause harm to the LGBT community,” he said, noting that lobbying “against the political goals of the LGBTQ left” does not equate to “actually harming.”
Manfred Wendt, a 2018 Trinity alum, told Campus Reform, "As an alumni of Trinity University and the Executive Director for YCT [Young Conservatives of Texas], I find the whole situation absurd. Political stunts pulled by the San Antonio City Council should not affect Trinity University's students. The Chick-fil-A situation is a perfect example of progressive slacktivism.
"If having Chick-fil-a on campus was actually an issue, they should have started protesting in August. I hope that the board of trustees does the wise thing and chooses to ignore the SGA resolution as its unlikely anyone will care once students return to classes in the fall and the ban Chick-fil-a fad will go back into hibernation," Wendt added.
Chick-fil-A was added to Trinity’s food court rotation less than a year ago by Aramark, which has a five-year contract as the university’s food service vendor, San Antonio Express News reported.
In a statement to the publication, Trinity’s vice president for Strategic Communications, Tess Coody-Anders, said Aramark “is taking the recommendation into consideration as part of a normal process this summer in which revolving food service vendors are evaluated for the next school year.” The university does not contract directly with Chick-fil-A, but it has the final decision.