Following controversial anti-gay marriage remarks from Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy and the controversy over whether the company supported Uganda’s “Kill the Gays” bill, the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey Student Senate is considering the possibility of ending the school’s relationship with the company.
The Student Senate will vote on whether Chick-fil-A should remain on campus when it meets next Tuesday, Nov. 20, 4:30 p.m. in the Board of Trustees room in the College Campus Center, Student Senate Vice President David Lamando said.
There are 27 members of the Senate, and 14 votes are needed for approval. Senate President AJ Vervoort abstains unless his vote is needed to break a tie.
If the Senate votes in favor of asking Chick-fil-A to leave campus, a letter would be sent to College President Herman J. Saatkamp requesting Chick-fil-A be removed from campus.
“Although it is his decision, the vote carries much weight,” Lamando said via email on Wednesday.
According to Lamando, members of the Stockton Pride Alliance, which represents the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community at the college, have attended the Senate’s last two meetings to express concerns about being discriminated against. According to Lamando, they feel the discrimination is being encouraged by Chick-fil-A’s presence at Stockton.
A recent survey of the campus’ total population also revealed that half the campus feels Cathy’s Chick-fil-A donations violate the school’s mission statement, Lamando said.
The Stockton Affiliated Services contract is with Chartwell’s, which then has contracts with the restaurants in the Campus Center. However, money from the college students’ meal plans go to Chick-fil-A automatically, Lamando said.
Over the summer, it was reported that Chick-fil-A’s charitable organization the WinShape Foundation donates to the Family Research Council, which reportedly lobbied against a resolution that would denounce Uganda’s so-called “Kill the Gays” bill. The bill calls for the death penalty for anyone who commits an act of homosexuality, which has been deemed a crime in Uganda.
The Family Research Council denied it was opposing the resolution, stating its goal was to clarify inaccuracies about homosexuality being a fundamental human right across the globe.
The pending vote places Stockton among a group of colleges who have considered distancing themselves from the restaurant, including Duke University, Davidson College and Emory University.