By Erin Valentine on April 29, 2013
Fast food. College students gravitate to it like animals in the safari, moving toward a watering hole. It’s warm. It’s cheap. It’s greasy. It’s quick.
As the infamous spot for fast food on Elon University’s campus, Chick-fil-A can be seen with an extensive line everyday at lunchtime. Alas, it’s no surprise that when Chick-fil-A came under fire for being connected to groups that were against same-sex marriage, students were up in arms.
I never was a huge fan of Chick-fil-A food, so my opinion is not based solely on the tastiness of their chicken. But, I agree with the decision that the Board of Trustees has reached.
I’m 95 percent sure most recipients didn’t read the rather long email sent to the student body April 25. The main facts to gather are the following:
The Board of Trustees decided to allow Chick-fil-A to remain on campus because “there is not actionable cause to remove Chick-fil-A from campus… We believe that universities should be places that promote the free and open exchange of ideas… Circumstances regarding this vendor have changed since the issues were raised last summer.”
First off, a university is a place for the exchange of ideas and the deepening of understanding of problems. The Chick-fil-A debate at Elon provided a great opportunity for students to express their views and hold intellectual discussions on a topic they were passionate about. The freedom, and ability, to speak our minds should always be given the highest priority, and this should never be forgotten.
Secondly, Chick-fil-A has, since the initial instance of homophobic support, recounted its statement and fought to change its public appearance. If someone still does not agree with Chick-fil-A, then simply don’t purchase food from their on-campus vendor. I say, let everyone have their own choice about Chick-fil-A.
Thirdly, the Chick-fil-A argument was not the first time Elon has had a large controversy about a social issue on campus. Just recently there have been campaigns against racism, sexism and homophobia. There is always something people will want to fix. This is a great thing because people are constantly inspired to make a change in the world or even just at Elon.
Lastly, the Board of Trustees did not seem to make this decision blindly or rashly. An extensive report can be found online that details the Board’s actions.
This opportunity has given Elon a great incentive to open up discussions that may have otherwise been muted. Students who may be unhappy with the Board’s decision should at least reconcile with that fact.
For now, Chick-fil-A is here to stay, and Elon students will continue to have their causes and their chicken.