Dumping Chick-Fil-A

Our university is trying to terminate its contract with Chick-Fil-A (which it is allowed to do by the initial contract agreement) and the nasty grease-joint is refusing on the grounds that this somehow violates its Freedom of Speech. Although – once again for the especially attentive – they had signed an agreement with us years ago giving both the chain and the university the right to not renew the contract without cause. Apparently, their freedom of speech should somehow make them force their vile, cancerogenous garbage onto the campus against our will.

There is a long (and in my opinion, completely idiotic) debate about freedom of speech and anti-gay donations of Chick-Fil-A raging on my campus. What I think we should be debating in this case, however, is why it is even possible for an oasis of intellect and knowledge to allow that this vicious poison be offered to us in lieu of food. We should be organizing to push all of these Pizza Huts, Baskin Robbinses and other similar garbage out of our cafeteria.

I am convinced that Chick-Fil-A is going to declare bankruptcy soon enough because they are not motivated by business interests in trying to remain on our campus. Whenever I go to the cafeteria, there is nobody there at their stand. Their stuff is not popular on campus. However, they occupy valuable space while the high-demand fresh salad stand that has people queuing up to it all the time has to scramble for space. Chick-Fil-A has abandoned business for the sake of ideology. Coupled with really horrible, disgusting rubbish that they serve up, this makes them sore losers who can’t quite while they are still not completely in the toilet.

Our university has been making significant efforts to improve the quality of food on campus. In the 3,5 years I have worked here, the deep-frying has been cut at least in half, a fresh fruit stand has appeared, and so has a stand with freshly tossed salads. There is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that our decision to terminate Chick-Fil-A has anything to do with their anti-gay disease rather than with a general effort to make our food more healthy. An effort, let me add, that started ling before the Chick-Fil-A gay-bashing scandal.

I believe that a company should be able to donate to whatever legal enterprise it wishes to support without being punished by the government for that. However, a university should also be able to choose not to peddle poison if it does so in accordance with a contract.

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9 comments on “Dumping Chick-Fil-A

  1. Interesting thoughts. I’m not so harsh on the food that Chick-fil-A serves up though. I admittedly like the waffle fries and the chicken nuggets they made with peanut oil and had the impression that they were healthier than say the kind of food one can find at McDonald’s. Far tastier than the frozen, plastic prepackaged garbage food that I’d eat when I was still in high school, but you have a point. The food should be far healthier and there needs to be a push for fresh food on these campuses.

  2. I realize that a tendency to exaggerate may be useful in drawing attention to one’s columns. And I have no objection to such. However, this particular column reads as though it were written by an uneducated food Nazi. And that is not healthy for a good scholar such as yourself.

    Individuals surely have a range of food choices on your campus. Not everyone chooses to live long but miserable lives by excluisvely eating Vegan fare. What is poison to your body may be truly nutricious to others’. Genetics will play a key role in such differences.

    All universities that I visit make some space for fast food outlets. Now whether that should be one brand or another is a matter for judgment. But to ban them all, irrespective of student preferences reads to me like dictatorship.

    • “But to ban them all, irrespective of student preferences reads to me like dictatorship.”

      - It was actually the student senate that proposed the non-renewal of the contract. Not renewing a contract is not the same as banning and should be allowed to everybody if that was part of the initial agreement.

    • Choosing salad or vegetables over meat isn’t strictly vegan. It could easily just be vegetarian. I choose mostly vegetarian options on campus because I don’t trust the meat, but other people eat it. And that’s fine. But how does that make me miserable? Just because I like to eat meat that doesn’t look questionable? Because I really prefer cheese alone on my pizza, rather than pepperoni? It’s a matter of personal taste, not nutrition.

      How is taking steps to improve the quality of food a bad thing? Campus food in general isn’t going to be the best, but it could be a lot better than it is. Eliminating the main sources of deep-fried food goes a long way to do that. And deep-fried food actually doesn’t have a ton of nutrients at all. There are a lot of healthier, less costly alternatives to fast food outlets on campus. When any chain food outlet makes a contract with a university, the university must pay a part of the profit to that outlet. By terminating such a contract and introducing different choices which don’t rely on chain restaurants, a university gets to keep its profit.

      I can get chicken on campus without going to a fast-food outlet. I can get really good burgers and fries. I can get just about anything they sell at a fast food outlet, and the university keeps its entire profit. When on-campus outlets close–for whatever reason–the school still listens to student preference. It just also has the benefit of a bigger profit. A bigger profit means better-quality food, whether it’s a better brand of beef for the burgers, or a fresh vegetable stand.

  3. The central issue is the nature of the contract between the university and Clarissaa’s alleged greasy spoon supplier. If the contract includes a unulateral escape clause, the university is free to terminate the contract. If not, then a breach of contact lawsuit no doubt will compensate the alleged grease spoon for loss of profits.

    If the university decides to eliminate all fast food outlets, and the students dislke this decision, then they are free to boycott the cafeteria and eat elsewhere, or through brown bag lunches. Soon enough, the university bureaucrats would then rush those fast food outlets back into the facility. For there is nothing that bureaucrats hate more than to see budget dollars move out of the reach of their own deep pockets .

    Whenever the choice comes down to that between principle and own-income, guess in which direction the bureaucrat will go!

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