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Purdue University leaning toward requirement that all campus businesses 'uphold the same values' ahead of Chick-fil-A opening

But some student senators say 'the goal in bringing a Chick-fil-A to campus is to expand our food options'

Photo by PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images

The Purdue University Senate is leaning toward a requirement that all campus businesses would "uphold the same values" with regard to inclusivity ahead of a Chick-fil-A franchise being opened on campus.

What are the details?

According to Campus Reform, the student Senate passed a resolution for "inclusion" after the restaurant announced it would be opening its doors on campus in fall 2020.

The resolution — which has support from the student body president — calls for the university to require all campus businesses to operate with the "same values" as stated in the university policy. The resolution would "require that all commercial entities located on campus property uphold the same values" as recorded in official university policy, and will "promote inclusivity with their policies, hiring practices, and actions."

“Purdue University does not condone and will not tolerate discrimination against any individual on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, age, national origin or ancestry, genetic information, disability, status as a veteran, marital status, parental status, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression," a portion of the resolution reads.

What are people saying about this?

Jo Bolieau, the school's student body president, opposes the opening of a Chick-fil-A on campus, and says that the move is "worth fighting."

"It's on me to use the platform to uplift the voices of those in my community," he wrote on Twitter. "If we can predict that ANY university action will negatively affect ~17% of our undergraduate population, we have an obligation to prevent it."

Professor Alice Pawley said that the presence of the restaurant could inhibit the education of LGBTQ students.

"I can speak to how I think about having on campus a symbol of discrimination against LGBTQ people will affect Purdue's ability to provide a campus environment where our LGBTQ students can learn fairly compared to their straight peers, as I think it does," Pawley insisted.

Professor Todd Kelley, an openly practicing Christian, told the Courier & Journal that he felt "censored" for his thoughts in either case.

“Being a Christian male — a white, Christian male – on this campus, there are times I feel censored," Kelley admitted. “I fear for this country where we get to a place where somebody who believes in the Bible is considered a hater."

Anything else?

Student body senators Joshua David and Zach Steward told WTHR-TV that a recent Purdue Student Government survey found that a whopping 93 percent of students, faculty, and staff support Chick-fil-A on campus. About 4,000 students, faculty members, and staff members responded to the survey.

In a statement provided to the outlet, David and Steward said, "[I]t should be noted that the views expressed by Student Body President Jo Boileau are his own personal opinions and do not reflect those of the Purdue Student Government as a whole. It is the official position of the Purdue Student Government, per Resolution 18-26 of the Student Senate, that we fully support a Chick-fil-A on campus. President Boileau has acknowledged this and has no intention of undermining the Purdue Student Government's position in favor of his personal views."

The senators' statement also pointed out that a company's personal politics should have no bearing on food offerings.

"[W]e would like to emphasize that companies take political and religious positions frequently," the statement concluded. "It would be difficult to live in the modern world without taking advantage of products made by people or organizations we disagree with. Companies like Papa John's, Jimmy John's, and Subway have had executives display behaviors many of us would disagree with, yet they remain popular food options here at Purdue. The goal in bringing a Chick-fil-A to campus is to expand our food options in a way students have wanted for a long time."

One last thing…
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