Purdue to Open Chick-Fil-A Amid Protests

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Citing overwhelming demand for Chick-fil-A’s food and services, Purdue University has announced it will allow the restaurant to open on campus. The university has been at the center of a debate over the Georgia-based food chain. Company Chief Executive Officer Dan Cathy has been criticized for his stance against same-sex marriages. 

When plans were announced to open the quick service restaurant, it prompted backlash from some students and faculty within the Purdue community.  Purdue says it respects protestors' right to dissent, but it does not supersede the rights of others.

Here is the statement from the university:

While we respect and protect the rights of all to express their opinions at Purdue, this clarification is intended to reassure our students and others that this long-requested dining option will not be taken from them and to dispel any impression that Purdue would ever seriously consider such an action. 

Like all Purdue vendors, the young woman franchisee, a Purdue graduate, has signed and observed a commitment of equal access and treatment in her employment and service practices. We would not be promoting choice and freedom by depriving thousands of people in our community of a choice they have long sought and are already taking advantage of in large numbers.  And, we would not be practicing inclusion by excluding a completely legitimate business and its staff from our campus.

Additional Statement from Dr. John Gates, Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion: 

We are fortunate to be a campus that embraces excellence through diversity and freedom of expression and choice for all people. The Chick-fil-A operator on campus is bound by Purdue’s non-discrimination policy statement, and we look forward to them respecting our institutional core values of integrity, honor, respect, inclusion, innovation and growth.

Plans are to place the restaurant in a residence hall currently under construction at Purdue.

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