Campus newspaper: Chick-fil-A to leave Emory University

In October, leaders from seven student LGBT groups sent a letter to Emory administrators decrying the ongoing presence of Chick-fil-A.

Emory’s Student Government Association also passed a resolution in early December urging Emory to reconsider Chick-fil-A as a campus vendor, and LGBT rights supporters have protested the campus restaurant, located in the Cox Hall food court

The Emory University administration issued a statement Dec. 17 about Chick-fil-A’s presence on the Atlanta campus, but declined to ask for removal of the restaurant over its leaders’ anti-gay stands.

“Emory University has a long history of creating access, inclusion and equity for Emory’s gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer students, faculty, staff and alumni. Public positions taken by Dan Cathy, president of Chick-fil-A, do not reflect these values of access, inclusion and equity,” the statement said.

“Another value of Emory University, however, is open expression. Dan Cathy has the right to express his views freely,” it continued.

The statement confirmed that “Emory University will not ask Sodexo [which manages its dining facilities] to exclude or retain” Chick-fil-A on the basis of Dan Cathy’s public positions.

But the Dec. 17 statement left open the possibility that the restaurant could be removed for other reasons.

Emory and Sodexo, the company through which Emory contracts for campus dining services, “continually evaluates sales, customer feedback and dining trends on campus,” according to the statement from Ajay Nair, Emory’s senior vice president for campus life.

Preferences identified through surveys include “global cuisine and flavors, health conscious offerings and competitive market pricing,” as well as “sustainability.”

“The Division of Campus Life and Sodexo will work collaboratively with stakeholders this spring to identify brands that support our vision for campus dining,” the statement concludes.

“Any brand changes in Emory Dining, which would begin in the fall of 2013, will be consistent with this vision and the principles articulated above.”