Purdue faculty, students challenge possible Chik-Fil-A on campus

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Faculty and students at Purdue University pushed back on Chik-Fil-A being part of a new residence hall on campus.

The Lafayette Journal & Courier reported that the faculty suggested that the university, one of the state’s largest, needed to “reacclimate” itself on how to interact with the LGBTQ community.

From the Lafayette Journal & Courier:

A proposed measure meant to pressure Purdue’s administration to make sure that commercial ventures on campus “uphold the same values and promote inclusivity with their policies, hiring practices and actions” didn’t call out Chick-fil-A by name.

“It’s bigger than that,” said Audrey Ruple, chair of the University Senate’s Equity and Diversity Committee. “We intentionally didn’t want this to be about one business – just ‘The Chick-fil-A’ resolution.”

But Jo Boileau, Purdue’s new student body president, didn’t mince words about a measure that was purposely broad to make any commercial business looking to open on campus match the university’s affirmative action codes. He wanted to talk about the “much more specific case” of Chick-fil-A.

“As student body president and as an openly gay student, this is something I’m confronting on a daily basis, in conversations I’m having every single day with students on this campus,” Boileau said.

If Purdue could give back millions of dollars from Papa John’s founder John Schnatter in 2018 because of racist remarks, Boileau said, he questioned what sort of message the university was sending to its LGBT community by clearing the way for Chick-fil-A.

The measure, expected to get a formal University Senate vote in October, follows news over the summer that Purdue had landed a contract with Chick-fil-A to put the fast food sandwich restaurant in the Third Street Suites residence hall when it opens at 401 N. Russell St. in fall 2020.

The franchise was being brought on campus thanks to a student petition last year.

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