Trinity SGA Hatches Plan to Oust Chick-Fil-A, Administration Says Restaurant to Remain
Article by: Jonathan Guajardo - Editor, The San Antonio Sentinel
Updated 05/27/19 by Sentinel Staff
Trinity students are filing in line with city officials in their stance on one of America’s favorite fast food chains, Chick-Fil-A. Despite witnessing the negative impact that banning Chick-Fil-A from the San Antonio International Airport has brought upon the city in terms of media coverage, the Student Government Association at Trinity University has unanimously passed a resolution to remove the restaurant from its campus program, Revolve. The program describes itself as a new dining concept at Trinity’s Commons where, “each day, Monday through Thursday, a different restaurant will visit Revolve.” It should be noted that, unlike at the University of the Incarnate Word, Chick-Fil-A is not a permanent resident on the campus, but rather a rotating option available to college students for their meal options.
In the resolution filed by sophomore senators Carson Bolding and Leopoldo Perez, the SGA stated that the recommendation stems from Chick-fil-a’s donations to organizations that they consider anti-LGBT+. These organizations include the Paul Anderson Youth Home, the Salvation Army, and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. They further reference a score of zero that the company earned on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index in 2015. For reference, the Corporate Equality Index is run by the Human Rights Campaign, an organization described on their website as, “the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer civil rights organization.”
The resolution also stated that, “Underrepresented students from the LGBT+ community have expressed the drastic assault on their identities and beings as a result of Chick-fil-a’s ideals and actions, and SGA stands to represent all students regardless of the size of the community.” Further down the document, it states that a forum held on campus, entitled “Speaking of Chick-Fil-A,” “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.”
Trinity’s student newspaper, The Trinitonian, cited an interview with Ty Tinker, Trinity SGA President who stated, “As far as resolutions go, it would be sent out to the student body, it would express our opinion, it would not directly enable change.” So, in summary, what this means is that the resolution itself wouldn’t ban the fast-food chain from it’s campus, but would mean that it would pass from the student chain-of-command up to administrators like Dean David Tuttle, Associate VP and Dean of Students, and Jamie Thompson, Director of Student Involvement. As in most academic institutions, the administration has the final say in what becomes official policy on campus. So, tonight the student body of Trinity University waits to see what will become of it’s student resolution to rid the campus of Chick-fil-a’s offerings.
Despite the student government’s recommendation to remove Chick-Fil-A from the Revolve dining program, the administration has decided to keep the restaurant as part of the campus dining options because they base their criteria for vendors on demand and popularity, not on political stances.
In a statement to students, they said: "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."