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Cal Poly faculty vote to remove Chick-fil-A from campus

Cal Poly’s Academic Senate, the governing body for the university’s faculty, voted Tuesday overwhelmingly in favor of removing a Chick-fil-A restaurant outlet from the university’s San Luis Obispo campus. The resolution was proposed in light of recent news the fast food chain’s charity arm, the Chick-fil-A Foundation, continues to give money to anti-LGBTQ organizations. The vote by the Academic Senate comes after another university and two cities moved to block Chick-fil-A outlets from opening in recent weeks due to the company’s perceived opposition to the LGBTQ community. 

Thomas Gutierrez, the Academic Senate’s vice-chair, introduced the resolution. 

“[Cal Poly’s] values statement includes language that identifies LGBTQ as a classification of individuals that we want to embrace in our diversity and inclusion model,” Gutierrez said. “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 university’s College of Liberal Arts 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,” according to a letter from the college supporting the resolution. 

The advisory resolution will be sent to Cal Poly President Jeffery Armstrong, who will acknowledge receipt and then may chose to take—or not take—action.

Cal Poly spokeperson Matt Lazier previously told KCBX News that “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. 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.”