DAVIDSON, N.C. — Students at Davidson College, a private liberal arts college in Davidson, N.C., want the school to quit serving Chick-fil-A food at school sponsored late-night events in protest of the fast-food chain’s donations to anti-gay organizations.
For the past decade or so, Davidson has organized a late-night food-and-music event called After Midnight — the program occurs once a month on a Saturday night at the college student union, and since 2002, After Midnight has routinely brought in food from Chick-fil-A, reported Davidson News.
But an online petition initiated by student organizer Ben Wiley — and signed by more that 400 students, alumni, professors and other college employees — demanded the school drop Chick-fil-A from the lineup.
“This is about saying we are trying to lower the demand for Chick-fil-A so that the Union Board no longer purchases it for us,” he said.
“We’re not petitioning because of the personal beliefs of the company officials. They can think what they want,” Wiley told the Davidson News, but noted that students should be concerned about the company’s spending on anti-gay causes – estimated at $5 million over the past decade or so.
“We’re contributing to it,” Wiley said.
In response, Union Board President Adriana Nassar and Vice President Cameron Joe issued a statement that “alternative options” will be served at student events until a final decision can be made.
“We reached out to the Union Board members to begin initial conversations, but because the board operates on consensus decision-making, a final decision is being put off until we can have face to face conversations and gather more student input.
Until a final decision is made, alternative options will be served at After Midnight and other Union Board events. The Davidson College Union Board is firmly committed to building an inclusive community that serves each member of our student body.”
Davidson students are on summer break right now and the first “After Midnight” is more than a month away. It’s not clear whether the petition will have any effect until the board meets when the school is back in session.
Chick-fil-A does not operate an on-campus concession.