ELON, N.C.– Members of the Elon University board of trustees have decided that Chick-fil-A can remain on campus, according to The Burlington Times-News
The decision was announced Thursday in an email sent to students, faculty and staff. The restaurant chain has been at the center of controversy since last summer when Dan Cathy, the company’s chief operating officer, made public statements supporting the traditional family and speaking against same-sex marriage.
Protests — both in opposition to and in support of the chain — followed at numerous locations. According to the report, members of the student government association voted to kick Chick-fil-A off campus. The president of the student association vetoed the vote. SGA members tried to overturn the veto, but didn’t have the votes.
At Elon, opponents of the company criticized its president, Truett Cathy, for his opposition to gay marriage and contributions through Winshape, its charitable wing, to organizations that some describe as anti-gay.
According to Thursday’s email, three factors went into making the decision to permit the restaurant to remain at Elon:
— Elon’s food service contract is with Aramark (not Chick-fil-A) and staff members serving Chick-fil-A food at Elon are Aramark employees protected by a non-discrimination policy similar to Elon’s.
“There has been no evidence of discrimination or complaints about service at Chick-fil-A on our campus,” the board email reads.
— Board members said they’re reluctant to put the university in a position of monitoring or making value judgments about the lawful philanthropic giving of vendors or related organizations.
“Removing Chick-fil-A solely on the basis of the owners’ stated views or their lawful philanthropic choices would stand in opposition to Elon’s mission statement, which encourages freedom of thought and liberty of conscience,” the email reads.
— Circumstances regarding Chick-fil-A have changed since last summer.
Read more at the The Burlington Times-News