Another day and yet another Chick-fil-A controversy on a college or university campus. The University of Kansas announced an art contest aimed at appeasing college students in response to Chick-fil-A arriving on its campus, according to Campus Reform.
The art contest’s title was “But the Chicken’s good…?” and it will be hosted by the University of Kansas’s Sexuality and Gender Diversity Faculty and Staff Council and the university’s Department of Visual Art. The contest will be held in March.
The art contest was a direct response to the “installation of Chick-fil-A in the Kansas memorial union” and it is an attempt to “open up a campus conversation about the meaning of the brand.” In other words, the hosting groups want to discuss their antipathy towards the chicken fast-food restaurant chain and whose founder was a devout Christian.
Organizers also claimed that some in the university’s community “have felt alienation and anger” over Chick-fil-A’s inclusion into its on-campus food offerings because its founder “has expressed virulent homophobic views.”
Despite the art contest’s claims, Chick-fil-A thrives as an alternative to fast-food restaurant chains such as McDonald’s, Wendy’s, and Burger King. Business Insider noted that the restaurant chain is the third-largest restaurant chain in America and whose sales grew by 16.7% in 2018 to $10.5 billion. McDonald’s ranked first and Starbucks was second.
Chick-fil-A’s founder, S. Truett Cathy, was a devout Christian and he passed on the leadership responsibilities to his son Dan. Dan is also a devout Christian and donates to pro-traditional marriage organizations and causes. Due to the Cathy family’s Christian beliefs about traditional marriage, LGBT activists across the country protest at the openings of new Chick-fil-A locations on college and university campuses. The protests reached a fever pitch until Chick-fil-A announced in November 2019 that it will cease donations to specific Christian organizations, though it appears that the company may reverse that stance soon.
Accuracy in Academia has covered anti-Chick-fil-A protests, which have gone on since 2015 across multiple college and university campuses. Chick-fil-A has weathered the protests and managed to generate more revenue and profit despite the protests. Here are some examples of anti-Chick-fil-A behavior over the past six years:
- In 2015, Johns Hopkins University students rejected Chick-fil-A location on its campus;
- University of Nebraska-Kearny student government criticized Chick-fil-A for its CEO’s Christian views on traditional marriage;
- Youngstown State University students voiced their opposition to Chick-fil-A at the university in 2017;
- Fordham University rejected Chick-fil-A after outrage from its LGBT community in 2017;
- Also in 2017, Duquesne University students feared Chick-fil-A would create an unsafe environment for its LGBT students;
- In 2019, Trinity University in Texas approved a Chick-fil-A location on its campus, but its student government disagreed with the restaurant’s inclusion into the university’s food options;
- Also in 2019, California-Polytechnic State University faculty passed a ban on Chick-fil-A locations on its campus; and
- Purdue University said it supported the inclusion of Chick-fil-A on its campus despite protests in 2019.