SAN ANTONIO – Update 5/14/2019:
Trinity University administrators say Chick-fil-A will remain on campus despite a resolution passed by the Student Government Association to exclude the restaurant from the rotation in the university's food court.
Trinity students received a statement from school administrators last week which stated that vendor decisions aren't based on political or religious beliefs but on vendor performance and campus-wide feedback.
Full statement sent to students on May 10:
"As primarily a student service, vendor selection for Revolve was and will continue to be based on utilization, variety of options, vendor performance and campus-wide feedback. We do not make vendor decisions based on their political or religious beliefs. Based on these criteria, Chick-fil-A appears to be a preferred vendor by students and the broader Trinity community.
As such, we will not recommend that Aramark remove Chick-fil-A from rotation at Revolve. We appreciate the dialogue initiated at the end of this semester and encourage students to engage with faculty and staff to further explore critical issues. Our assessment of vendors, including soliciting input from students, faculty and staff, will continue annually."
- Trinity University Administration
The Student Government Association at Trinity University passed a resolution Wednesday to remove Chick-fil-A from the restaurant rotation in the university's food court.
The school's student newspaper, Trinitonian, reported that the unanimous vote followed criticism from some students about the presence of the fast food chain on campus given the CEO's support of conservative organizations and legislation.
“Chick-fil-A has donated $1.8 million to anti-LGBTQIA organizations in the past available tax return form available, which is from 2017. Those include the Paul Anderson Youth Home, Salvation Army, the Fellowship for Christian Athletes,” Claire Carlson, sophomore senator said to the Trinitonian. “Also, we know about the Uganda scandal in 2014 with the anti-homosexuality bill that Chick-fil-A supported different interest groups in that that were advocating for that legislation. In addition to that, Dan Cathy, who is their CEO, has made a lot of problematic comments in the context of same sex marriage and things like that.”
District 1 Councilman Roberto Trevino, who spearheaded the vote to have the fast food chain excluded from the San Antonio International Airport for these same reasons, praised the resolution.
“I commend the Trinity University SGA for voting their conscience and taking a stand for social justice,” Trevino said in a statement.
District 6 Councilman and mayoral candidate Greg Brockhouse, who voted against the City Council’s decision to exclude the restaurant from the airport released the following statement:
“The City Council’s decision to ban Chick-Fil-A was a national embarrassment and it has spawned copycat bad decisions like Trinity students calling for the removal of the restaurant as well. This must end. Chick-Fil-A DOES NOT discriminate against anyone. The Council’s decision was potentially unconstitutional and if Trinity does the same they should be examined as well for violating the basic right to freedom of religion.”
Carlson was one of the students who drafted the resolution.
That resolution will be sent to school administrators, who will have the final say about whether Chick-fil-A remains on campus.
"Our food service vendor, which contracts with Chick-fil-A to be on campus a couple times a month at lunchtime, is currently in the process of reviewing dining services options and this will be considered as part of our normal evaluation process over the summer," said Tess Coody-Anders, vice president for strategic communications and marketing for Trinity.
Some students on campus sounded off different opinions.
“I think it is a reasonable position,” said one student. “I personally don’t see eye to eye with it. It’s not something I think reflects on the company as a whole, and if they can provide a good service, I don’t necessarily see any reason why I shouldn’t buy a chicken sandwich.”
The Young Conservatives of Texas at Trinity University released a statement in response to the resolution:
“Frankly, the push to remove Chick-fil-a from our campus is an overreaction. The fact remains that no amount of sandwiches we buy will bring harm to our gay peers at Trinity. Christians often differentiate between acts of sin and the people who commit them, but the leftists on our campus overlook this crucial distinction. Their failure to understand that disagreement and love can coexist now makes them think that they should control the purchases of others.”
“The decision was made based on their donations to anti-LGBT+ groups. It had nothing to do with the groups' adherence to any religion," said Tyler Tinker, president of the Student Government Association.
“What is really bad about this is that this all started with Councilman Trevino when he said they were anti-LGBTQ, and this is an absolute lie,” said Cynthia Brehm, chairwoman for the Republican Party of Bexar County. “As a Christian, we are supposed to love our neighbors as ourselves, and that is what Chick-fil-A does. They have people that are LGBTQ that own Chick-fil-A, and so for them to make that remark that they are anti is absolutely false.”
Brehm added that she is disappointed that a university-based on Christian values is giving the city of San Antonio another black eye to the nation.
“This institution is founded on Christian beliefs and the word of God, which is the Bible. They are discriminating a business that upholds the same Christian values. We are protected under the Constitution to give our money to whatever we want. It is not right that they be targeted and have to suffer because of someone’s malicious intent to harm an organization," Brehm said. "These students are supposed to look for facts. They are jumping on the bandwagon because other people are doing it or because it is something that is trending. You are risking your careers. You are risking your character. They need to do their homework. They need to do their research and find out what the facts are and then move forward, not just based on propaganda.”
Click here to read the full resolution.