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I wanted to begin a discussion about the Chick-fil-A franchise owned by Virginia Tech in Owens Hall as related to our stated Principals of Community Doccument.
In January 2011, the media reported that Chick-fil-A was co-sponsoring a marriage conference along with the Pennsylvania Family Institute (PFI), an organization that has opposed same-sex Marriage legislation in California and Pennsylvania. Chick-fil-A explained the PFI retreat support, stating "one of our independent Restaurant Operators in Pennsylvania was asked to provide sandwiches to two Art of Marriage video seminars." The WinShape Foundation also stated it would not allow same-sex couples to participate in its marriage retreats. Chick-fil-A has donated millions to the WinShape Foundation, which then gave millions to groups including Focus on the Family and Eagle Forum that are politically active in opposing same-sex marriage and other gay rights issues.
In late July 2012, Restaurant chain president Dan Cathy told the Baptist Press last month that the company was "guilty as charged" for backing "the biblical definition of a family."
In response, students at several colleges and universities formed grassroots efforts to ban or remove the company's restaurants from their campuses.
At Virginia Tech, our Principals of community dictate:
The "Virginia Tech Principles of Community" were affirmed by the board of visitors March 14, 2005, and signed by eight university organizations.
Virginia Tech is a public land-grant university, committed to teaching and learning, research, and outreach to the Commonwealth of Virginia, the nation, and the world community. Learning from the experiences that shape Virginia Tech as an institution, we acknowledge those aspects of our legacy that reflected bias and exclusion. Therefore, we adopt and practice the following principles as fundamental to our on-going efforts to increase access and inclusion and to create a community that nurtures learning and growth for all of its members:
Ben J. Davenport Jr., Rector, Board of Visitors
Charles W. Steger, President
W. Samuel Easterling, President, Faculty Senate
Sue Ellen Crocker, President, Staff Senate
Sumeet Bagai, President, Student Government Association
Myrna Callison and Yvette Quintela, Co-Vice Presidents, Graduate Student Assembly
Kimball "Jay" Reynolds, President, Virginia Tech Alumni Association
Ray Plaza, Chair, Commission on Equal Opportunity and Diversity
and can be found at - http://www.diversity.vt.edu/principles-of-community/principles.html
If the Hokie community truly " ..reject(s) all forms of prejudice and discrimination, including those based on age, color, disability, gender, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, and veteran status. We take individual and collective responsibility for helping to eliminate bias and discrimination and for increasing our own understanding of these issues through education, training, and interaction with others." isn't action required?
A petition drive to close the Virginia Tech Chic-Fil-A is in progress here - http://www.change.org/petitions/virginia-tech-stop-chick-fil-a-from...
On Thursday July 26 2012, Campus Pride, a national group that advocates for gay students, called on colleges to kick out Chick-fil-A or any vendor that works with the company, and to also pull out of conferences or athletic events with the company as a sponsor. "If colleges wish to create an atmosphere that is respectful, inclusive, diverse and fosters safety for all students, then associating with Chick-fil-A, which is on record funding documented hate groups, is downright wrong and has to end immediately," said Shane Windmeyer, executive director of Campus Pride. "Saying ‘no’ to Chick-fil-A is saying 'no' to hate."
The organization and others are also calling for the National Collegiate Athletic Association and university teams to refuse to participate in the Chick-fil-A Bowl, or early season games linked to the bowl game.