Students have mixed thoughts over the addition of fast-food chain

The students have voted and the university has provided, the campus community was notified that Chick-Fil-A will be coming to UVU this fall by a tweet from President Matthew Holland.

Efforts to add Chick-Fil-A to campus began last year.

Jacob Atkin, associate vice president of finance, said, “Our goal is to open Chick-Fil-A for fall semester 2017, but the exact date is impossible to predict at this point.” He also stated that it would be premature to announce where the fast-food chain would be located on campus.

Andre Jones, presidential intern for UVU’s office of finance and administration, said that the decision to put the restaurant on campus was heavily influenced by UVU students. Surveys and Twitter polls were used to measure what students wanted on campus. Other fast-food chains in the running included: Panda Express, Zupas, Wendy’s and Little Caesar’s Pizza. The university is planning on a second new restaurant to bring to campus, but the name or location of a food business has not been announced.

“I think it would be ‘sick’, because then we would have good chicken to eat. It’s better than Taco Bell or Jamba Juice,” said Jordan Hicken, a sophomore exercise science student at UVU.

Not all students are enthusiastic about the addition of Chick-Fil-A.

Keli Byers, sociology major and public relations chair of Spectrum, an LGBTQ club, at UVU, says she understands why Chick-Fil-A is coming to campus because it is a popular choice among UVU students, but says there are issues with the company’s political standards.

“I’m not a proponent of Chick-Fil-A, they’re definitely anti-LGBTQ. They’re very vocal about the fact that they are anti-LGBTQ. It’s going to bring in revenue, I guess that’s very good for the campus, but I think that there are better options that UVUSA and administration could be considering,” said Byers.

Byers says that the addition of outside brands could hurt UVU Dining Services.

We have amazing services through Valley View, for example, they cater to health needs and dietary restrictions. I have a dietary restriction and the only places I can eat on campus most of the time is Valley View. The more that we bring in other vendors instead of catering to dietary needs to students, the more it’s going hurt Valley View because they’re already having to cut back on the options that they offer,” Byers said.
The family-owned business, which started in Atlanta, became involved in the debate over marriage equality in 2012 when Dan Cathy, CEO of Chick-Fil-A, shared his views in ‘support for the traditional family’ and expressed his opposition over the legalization of same-sex marriage. The company has a history of donating to groups organizations that oppose same-sex marriage such as The Marriage & Family Legacy Fund, The Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Family Research Council and the National Christian Foundation. The Family Research Council has been determined as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

In 2012, Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts canceled plans to add the chain to campus due to Cathy’s comments. The same year, the company stated they would no longer support groups with political or social agendas. Since the same-sex marriage controversy, the fast-food chain has made efforts to be more inclusive towards the LGBTQ community.

A day after the Orlando Pulse shooting, Chick-Fil-A employees provided food to people who were in line to donate blood to victims of the attacks.

Christian Reid, a chemistry student at UVU, says that while he enjoys Chick-Fil-A’s food he has problems with the company’s stance on same-sex marriage.

“As a queer student, obviously, I have my qualms on their stances towards my identity and the rights that I should and shouldn’t have in terms of the right to marry who I want to,” he said.

Matthew Elms, freshmen and physical therapy student said, “I think if Chick-Fil-A came here that would be a great idea and I think they would have a lot of success.”

According to Jones, no official complaints have been made about the addition of the fast-food chain to campus.