Indiana University South Bend (IUSB) has sent a clear message to their chancellor, Una Mae Reck, that Chick-fil-A should no longer operate as a vendor on campus, due to the restaurant chain’s deep financial ties to nationwide anti-gay organizations. But instead of listening to students and faculty, Chancellor Reck has decided to side with discrimination and homophobia.
In recent weeks, groups like Equality Matters and blogs like Good As You have documented that Chick-fil-A has donated more than $1.1 million to groups who oppose same-sex marriage, who oppose nondiscrimination policies to protect LGBT people, and who believe homosexuality is a sin.
Given this information, students and faculty at IUSB have passed official resolutions urging Chancellor Reck to review Chick-fil-A as a vendor on campus. According to students and faculty, Chick-fil-A’s substantial anti-gay donations run counter to IUSB’s diversity and anti-discrimination policies – which all vendors on campus must follow – and until Chick-fil-A makes a pledge not to support vehemently anti-gay causes, they should not be a service on IUSB’s campus.
Now is the time for Chancellor Reck to listen to her students and faculty, and support one of IUSB’s core principles: to be a learning and working environment that builds respect for all students and faculty on campus, regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. Having Chick-fil-A on campus sends the message that it’s OK for IUSB’s vendors to support discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Is that really a message that Chancellor Reck wants to send?
Urge Chancellor Reck’s office to support the Student Government Association, the Faculty Senate, and scores of other student groups who are calling for a suspension of Chick-fil-A services on campus.
Yet instead of listening to your faculty and students, you’ve allowed Chick-fil-A to continue to be a vendor at IUSB, even though their support for anti-gay causes – which has been documented to show contributions of upwards of $1.1 million to groups who believe homosexuality is a sin and that LGBT people do not deserve basic civil rights – is substantial.
I urge you to reconsider this decision. As the students and faculty have made clear to you, IUSB’s Supplier Code of Conduct requires all university vendors to follow diversity and anti-discrimination policies that are inclusive of sexual orientation. Yet Chick-fil-A’s financial contributions to groups like the Family Research Council and the Alliance Defense Fund – who just yesterday suggested that gay youth commit suicide because they know their sexual orientation is immoral – clearly run counter to IUSB’s principles.
Please, Chancellor Reck, listen to your students and faculty, and suspend services of Chick-fil-A on campus so that you can review the deep ties that the restaurant chain has to groups that want to limit civil rights for LGBT Americans. This is the right step to take, in order to ensure that IUSB is a safe and welcoming environment for all faculty and students, regardless of sexual orientation.
Thanks for your time.