California Polytechnic State University’s faculty voted overwhelmingly to boot Chick-fil-A from campus.
The Academic Senate is the faculty’s governing body and represents 1300 faculty members at Cal Poly. Last Tuesday, the Academic Senate voted overwhelmingly in favor of a resolution calling on the school to cut ties with Chick-fil-A, citing the corporation’s donations to anti-LGBTQ organizations.
The university’s “values statement includes language that identifies LGBTQ as a classification of individuals that we want to embrace in our diversity and inclusion model,” said Thomas Gutierrez, the vice chair of the Academic Senate who introduced the resolution.
“Then you have an organization that regularly and publicly shows up in the national news in great tension with this… so if you have a mission statement that indicates that you value inclusivity and diversity, then you should be making your business decisions based on that.”
The school’s College of Liberal Arts also recommended that “Cal Poly and the Cal Poly Corporation sever ties with Chick-fil-A and terminate the contract with the on-campus franchise and… be mindful of the practices and donation patterns of its business partners, and that said partners are held to the same high diversity and inclusion standards as the rest of the campus community.”
The resolution now goes to the president of the university Jeffrey Armstrong, who will take them under advisement. He does not have to follow the resolution.
“University administration and Cal Poly Corporation leadership disagree passionately with the ideologies of some of the organizations to which the president of Chick-fil-A has chosen to make personal donations,” a university spokesperson said in a statement before the vote.
“However, university administration’s disagreement with the political views of a given business owner does not give the university license to effectively censor that business and prohibit it from continuing to operate at the university.”
Gutierrez said that even if Armstrong doesn’t end the university’s relationship with Chick-fil-A, it was still important for faculty to make this statement.
“Nevertheless, I think it’s important to go into the public record that the faculty feel this way on this fairly timely issue,” he said.