Northeastern skewers plans for campus Chick-fil-A

UPDATE: The News has updated its report: The university has decided that because of the vote, it won't allow a Chick-fil-A at the school.

The Huntington News reports the Northeastern Student Government Association voted 31-5 last night to denounce the university's proposal to allow a Chick-fil-A in a remodeled student center.

The association spent four years working to get a Chick-fil-A on campus, but voted last night that the chain should be barred because of its contributions to a group funding anti-gay efforts.



Free tagging: 



Put the delicious Chic-fil-a somewhere else in the city where others can get it without being students. So damn tasty.

You don't have to be a

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You don't have to be a student to go in Curry Student Center, where Chick-fil-A is supposed to be located. Northeastern has an open campus and the only places with restricted access are Snell Library (to a small extent) and the dorms.


I see lots and lots of middle school and high school students in the student center. Better there than getting into trouble I guess.


Though, having had a Chic-fil-a in my campus when I was in school, I can say that a many of the on-campus operations are much more limited in their offerings than stand alone locations. Usually just the basics, sitting on warming trays for that matter.

Furthermore- yes everyone knows Chic-fil-a is outwardly pro-Christian values...but come on folks- how many Urban Outfitters do we have in town?

Not the right question

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How many of those Urban Outfitters are located on a college campus...particularly inside of the student center? Nobody's suggesting Chik-Fil-A can't move into Downtown Crossing, right next to one of those Urban Outfitters even.

Slippery slope

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Does that mean every store on Northeastern's campus is ripe to have their political speech/spending scrutinized? What causes do the owner's of Wollastons support? How about Qdoba, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Wendy’s, D’angelos, Starbucks?

How attenuated does it get? Shaw's accepts the Husky card and they sell plenty of products from companies with shady practices and motives.

I'm sure there are groups on campus that get funds from NU and are pushing an agenda that people disagree with.


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Why shouldn't Northeastern students evaluate the political speech/spending of every store put on their campus?

As far as off of campus use of their ID card, that's up to them to decide if they want to spend their on-campus money in those places or not. If they wanted to stop attending (paying) Northeastern because they disagree with whom Northeastern chooses to get in bed with corporately/politically, that's up to the students, but if they're already there then they should be able to step up and tell their administration what they think of the choices being made in their name (and with their dollars). The ills of one company effecting a partnering company's image is as transitive as any one of us wants to make it for ourselves. In the case of the students, that is the role of their student government organization as their representation.

Student groups have to play by a different set of rules than corporations do. So, to include them in your post is a bit of a red herring to this discussion.

Ok, then

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it's open season on free speech.

I'm confused by your argument distinguishing spending Husky bucks at Shaw's on a controversial product from buying a chicken sandwich from Chick-fil-a. If it's up to the students where to spend their money in the off campus situation, why is it different when it comes to Chick-fil-a?

I don't think the student group comparison is a red herring at all. In fact, it is quite apt, students fees are mandatory, buying a chicken sandwich is voluntary. The NU college dems/repubs get a piece of the student activity fees. They spend that money (directly and indirectly-gas/transport, lunches, seminars, conferences, etc) doing different things including campaigning for politicians. Some of those politicians may espouse views similar to Chick-fil-a.

If the NU student senate is going to dictate what political speech is acceptable when it comes to on-campus business, then it has to be consistent and ban the use of student fees that finance political speech by on-campus groups.

It's only open season, if...

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Husky bucks spent at Shaw's is for a grocery store that isn't asking to be a part of Northeastern's campus (unless you're talking about one located on their campus that I'm unfamiliar with). Chick-Fil-A is attempting to locate inside their student center on campus. The students do not want their campus affiliated with a company that donates to the causes that it does. They should have input into the decision to bring Chick-Fil-A to's their campus. The difference is the tacit approval of the store if it is located on campus as opposed to Shaw's which is an independent retailer where they can choose to affiliate with or not.

The student groups are not at all the same. You're stretching to make similarities that just don't exist. First of all, student groups are not just able to spend their budgeted money as they want. It all has to be accountable to the student government and certain expenditures are not acceptable (I do not believe they can just give the money straight to a campaign/PAC/SuperPAC for example). If the money is spent to facilitate their volunteering for a campaign, that's not the same as what Chick-Fil-A is doing so it's immaterial to your comparison. Also, there are protections for student groups to exist even if they are not popular as long as they abide by codes of conduct. Those rules don't exist for corporations and corporations looking to move onto campus have no such edicts that govern their behavior OR grant them similar protections. The school can choose to rent to whatever corporations it chooses. The students are simply letting the school know what corporations it should choose based on keeping its student body happy. So, they aren't the same at all no matter how you want to try and shoehorn it.

Freedom of speech...

By on not freedom from criticism, despite the wishes of so many republicans.

The students exercised their freedom of speech to disapprove of Chick-fil-a. The university voluntarily decided to respect their wishes.

The government did not infringe on anyone's free speech. And that is all that the First Amendment guarantees.

As a very irregular shopper

As a very irregular shopper in stores like these, I didn't realize until reading your post & looking it up that Richard Haynes, owner of Urban Outfitters & Anthropologie, is a hard-right major Santorum donor. So, a) thanks for the heads up, and b) where the hell will I shop for my teen nieces now?

According to one expert I consulted

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People who shop at Urban Outfitters also shop at:

Wet Seal
Forever 21

Not that she has ever willingly set foot in either, but she's acquainted with the shopping habits of the not inconsiderable number of classmates who could not imagine life before Legacy Place.

Teen Shopping Suggestions

My sons were no-logo types before they even read no-logo, and despised Abercrombe and Hollister and UO and Anthropologie before I even offered to take them there. Here are our faves:

1. Shopping Spree at the Garment District! Walk in with your nieces, walk out with a huge bag of staples and some crazy experiments for $100. Leaves money for lunch at a local place like Emmas.

2. JC Penney - for my teen sons, I have yet to find a place that carries more of a variety of styles and sizes - and they are very differently shaped guys.

3. Bob's Stores - not the furniture place, the clothing place. Basics, hoodies, jeans, etc. Good value.

Two of my nieces are good for

Two of my nieces are good for Dame and Boomerangs and the Garment District. The other suffer from unwarranted delusions of wealth, the way some teen women do.

A location idea...

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Perhaps in West Roxbury. They love both discrimination AND bad suburban food there.

And he does mean drive

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Since West Roxbury thinks it's all urban but doesn't even have a dayum subway stop.

West Roxbury

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That's a very bold claim you make about West Roxbury. Care to back it up with some facts?

Can do!

I've left Taco Bell alone ever since they opened the first Anna's....then I also discovered Boca Grande, El Pelon....the hell with Taco Bell! oh yeah Boloco is better than Taco Smell too.

Taco Bell fosters stereotypes

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Taco Bell fosters stereotypes of Mexican food.
Wendy's corporate brand insulting to redheads.
D'Angelo's implies all Italians make good sandwiches.
Pizza Hut's name is insensitive to all those starving people living in huts in the third world.
Burger King promote monarchism.

The SGA needs to get over its self righteous self and allow the student body to eat the damn food they like from the restaurants they like without all the outside political bullshit.

What's next forbidding on campus eateries from posting "no shirt, no shoes, no service" for discriminating against nudists?

Yeah, those are the same

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Actively funding anti-gay initiatives is blatant discrimination. The SGA deserves a lot of credit for recognizing this and telling Chick Fil A to take it walking.

Fuck your piece of chicken and pickles.

Aw, u mad?

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Frankly, I like it when it gets a little salty on this site. The commenters seem to as well, given the 32-to-1 tally from the offending post to yours. I'll hit the plus button on this one and cancel out your minus.

The big difference...

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Is that you made all of those other things up. Whereas, Chik-fil-A actually DOES contribute money to religious, anti-gay organizations through WinShape, its charitable foundation that gets most of its money from Chik-Fil-A Inc.

If money is speech and you can't limit speech, so you can't limit corporation spending in politics, then it's no longer "outside political bullshit" to tell corporations to get bent if you don't like how they're going to speechify all of your hard-earned money when they get it.

Well said Kaz

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Well said Kaz & way to go Northeastern student government!

What about Sambo's?

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Sambo's name was not based on cute little colored boys and blackfaced lawnjockeys. It was based on the original owners' names. Would that then be acceptable as a restaurant? No politics there.

As for the outside political issues item - that sounds more like a call for the best of American, who the hell cares, apathy.

Still only a princess

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Until my mother dies I remain a princess.

*cough. you should probably

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*cough. you should probably do away with your AT&T cell phones (they are a huge donor to the Tea Party) and your precious Apple products (they are running sweatshops in China) as well. But that would be sooooo inconvenient.

Self-advocacy vs. other-oriented liberalism

One tends to stir up a lot more passion than the other- which is only natural. Practically nobody- whether liberal or conservative- cares all that much about people in other countries. Certainly not enough to sacrifice anything. But self-interest can definitely get huge crowds of people out into the streets to protest (for guns, gay marriage, abortion, against taxation, for collective bargaining, funding for social programs, etc.), and can even fuel a legitimate boycott from time to time.

6 Days a Week

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Blame it on them being closed on Sundays.

Glad to know Chick-Fil-A supports Christian groups

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I wasn't aware that Chick-Fil-A supports Christian groups but now that I am, I will go out of my way to spend money there. From a business point of view, with 80% of Americans identifying as Christian and 2% identifying as gay, it seems like a strong business concept. Is Chick-Fil-A publicly traded? Lastly, what exactly are anti-gay efforts?

Is Chick-Fil-A trying to eliminate gays outright or merely joining President Obama and the tens of millions of Americans of all faiths who wish to preserve the centuries old definition of marriage? Or do they join liberal, civil liberties attorney Harvey Silverglate in seeking to eliminate the "idiocy" of hate crime laws?

80%?! I think not.

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There are a lot more atheists today and the number is only going to grow. People are tired of hearing silly fables of which the bible is full of. The mind control of the church is ending. Slowly, but it's ending.

Earth to wacko

Public support for marriage equality has been on the rise for years, and is over 50% according to some polls. It may astonish you to learn that many straight people actually think gay people's rights are important, too.

No need for a minus button

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Adam, please, can we get a minus button?

No. Call them out on what they say that is so disagreeable and why you think so. That's better than a minus button. The answer to free speech is more free speech.

Hate speech?

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Please cite. I hope you don't mean my agreeing with President Obama on marriage and former local ACLU head Harvey Silverglate, Esquire on the "idiocy" (his word) of hate crime laws in response to the recent lesbian on gay spat. Perish the thought of a minus button, opposing views might be squelched! Then again, maybe not.

Thanks for clarifying that

What percentage of the population does a particular group have to comprise before you're willing to recognize their rights as important?

So what?

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The constitution is clear that government cannot establish religion. That means that no matter how many of you there are (tops 20% as you are of "the base") and not matter how few gay people there are, your religious beliefs about whatever don't matter for drizzle when it comes to how "those" people live their lives.

That's why we have a constitution, sweetie. Spend some time in a library and away from the Right Wing Hate Radio Machine and you might learn about it.

2%... LMAO

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"2% Identifying as gay"?

There are many many more gay people than that sweetie. Take off the blinders and look around.

It doesn't matter anyway

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Just because a particular religious group thinks it has more people doesn't mean that it gets to make any rules in a secular society.

Read the legal decision that extended marriage rights to all couples if you want to be enlightened about constitutional protection of minorities and the limits of what defines a compelling state interest.

Put simply, religions don't get to make laws. Period.

Lies, damned lies and statistics

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1) If you take the time to read through that entire Wikipedia article, you'll see estimates range from about 1% to over 10%, depending on a lot of factors.

2) At one of my employers, which is in no way LGBT related, about 18% of the employees are LGBT (and that's just the ones I know for sure). Could be higher. Do I think it's representative of the general population? No, but I'm also pretty sure it's more than 2%.

Christian groups

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The issue is not that Chick-fil-a supports Christian groups, it's that it supports "Christian" groups. Christian groups espouse, advance, and live by the teachings of Christ, "Christian" groups, on the other hand, cynically use divisive, manufactured wedge issues to garner contributions and media attention and to energize voters to vote against their own self interest.

This post awesome. It's better than kitten farts and rainbows. Thank you, dear anon!

Come here Fishwife and do you wifely duties!

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The centuries old definitions of marriage include women as chattel and the bigamy of multiple wives. In recent times (and still bizarrely practiced) the wife lost her identity becoming Mrs. John Doe. Wives were delivered to husbands with dowries. And in centuries old marriages violence and rape of wives was perfectly acceptable. Afterall the wife's primary reason for existence to provide the husband with offspring.

Mr. Fish - do you really want to return to centuries old definitions of marriage? Are you okay with Old Testament conditions of brothers automatically marrying the widows of dead brothers, etc? I understand that you are uncomfortable with the idea of two men or women in a committed and, even sexual relationship. But it would help your cause to show a knowledge of what you are talking about.

80% of the nation identifies as Christian? Lets see...that 80% includes a sect of Christians who are the modern version of the stereotyped Pharisees and Sadducees who were more concerned about rituals, rules, dogmas (e.g., are you born again?) and policies rather than their fellow human beings. There are the so-called Christian leaders whose lust for power and fame makes them demagogues. Then there are Christians - far fewer - who are actually concerned about people who are poor and suffering and see the lessons of Christ not as controlling the bedroom but of trying to make this veil of tears a little less tragic.

To answer your questions fairly

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Firstly, the percentage of Americans self-identifying as Christians is down to between 60-75%. Boston is actually on the lower end of that range from the few sources I can find online. Also, as others have mentioned, the LGBT community is around 3.5-4% nationwide, but significantly enriched here in Boston (12.5% in the 2000 census data).

So, to answer your questions:
1) No, Chick-Fil-A is privately held.
2) Chick-Fil-A has multiple franchises that donate directly to groups that oppose gay marriage and have described increasing civil rights for gay couples as being equivalent to Pearl Harbor. One group justified discrimination against gay couples because they aren't "biologically" relevant. WinShape is a charity that Chick-Fil-A essentially runs which has donated to these same groups itself. It has also sponsored conferences for anti-gay activists to speak at. WinShape also runs a retreat location which is open for hire to anyone...except homosexuals.
3) I don't know of any group attempting to "eliminate gays" so your hyperbole is not meaningful. However, some of the groups they have donated to or sponsored have gone beyond simply opposing gay marriage and into denigration of homosexuals as people.
4) Your attempt to draw Harvey Silverglate and the Forest Hills assault into this is a red herring.

Speaking of red herrings

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The stuff O-FISH-L is throwing around in his or her hate speech about religion is exactly a red herring. No one is suggesting that anyone be denied their religious beliefs; I'd be the first one to protest if anyone were actually suggesting that.

However, none of us get to force others to abide by our religious beliefs.

When you say that you believe that some families should get to have a simple route to guaranteed access to things like health insurance and child custody and financial products, and other families shouldn't because they're not as valued as your family, that's hatred.

I don't care whether you try to justify your views as being the result of your religion, your cult, your upbringing, your mind being controlled by aliens; it's still hatred.

Update: Chicken is now toast

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The News has updated its initial report: Based on the SGA vote, the university will not be allowing a Chick-fil-A on campus and will look for another eatery to fill the void.

It's relatively new but...

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They should see if Zaxby's wants to dip its toes in the New England market. It's a direct competitor to Chick-Fil-A that also started in the South and has grown really quickly, especially in and around colleges but also gaining among young professionals. Sounds like a perfect marriage and a fun way for Zaxby's to get a dig at Chick-Fil-A by filling their almost new home.

When I was a student at NU in the early 1980s, the

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University embarked on a plan to replace the at-grade crossing across Huntington Avenue connecting the main quad, the T station, and the dorms across the street with a pedestrian overpass. They actually installed the footings and were getting ready to have the steel delivered when the neighborhood association stopped the project.

In a nutshell, the locals objected to the idea that traffic on Huntington Avenue would no longer have to periodically stop to let throngs of NU students cross the street.

After over two years of meetings and debates, the project was cancelled and the footings removed.

The bridge would have had walkways down into

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the Green Line station. So to get from the quad to the Green Line (or visa versa), you would have had to go up and then down. Top accommodate the new walkway, the boarding area for trains would have been shifted towards the Ruggles Street end of the station, but they wouldn't have needed to extend the platform.

And you have a very good point about the low clearance - although, IIRC, that particular issue never came up at the time.


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I suppose I should be relieved.

Although, "toast" sounds like it might be a threat!


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only a threat if it's Fren... er Freedom Toast! We're still doing that, right?

Will NU ban hurt Chick-fil-A? Not so much.

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Chick-fil-A’s unusual approach has helped fuel its steady growth, despite the 2007-2009 recession, with systemwide sales rising from $2.3 billion in 2006 to $3.4 billion last year (2010).

With total sales expected to hit $4 billion this year, it’s poised to displace Oklahoma City-based Sonic as the nation’s 10th largest fast-food chain in terms of revenues. -- Atlanta Journal Constitution, December 28, 2011

So, then, why do you care about this?

You and your kind will be able to continue hating people different from you, all in the name of an individual renegade rabbi who lived 2,000 ago and never said word one about homosexuality.

Because it's newsworthy and comments are reliably laughable

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This is a tough one for me and "my kind". If I disagree with President Obama's view that marriage is between a man and a woman, then I'm racist. If I agree with President Obama, then I'm a hater/homophobe, at least in the eyes of the "tolerant" crowd. A sort of Morton's fork if you will.


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Well, you're definitely a homophobe.

Do you really need to be a racist too? Is there some sort of punchcard you're looking to complete?


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It's Obama's fault that a private university made a decision to not rent out their space to a private company. Anyone can see that.

Seriously, some people think that a "free market" entitles a company, corporation or business being able to say or do whatever they want without criticism. That's not how it works. Sure, a private company has a right to donate to whatever bigoted cause it deems worthy. But remember, by the same token, a private university has just as much of a right to tell that company to go to hell, and not rent space in their student center.

I'm going to go out a limb and guess that if a school chose not to rent to a company that donated to, say, Planned Parenthood, Fishy and friends would have a completely different response.

Shame when the free market doesn't work the way Republicans want it to, isn't it?

FISH, while I have only once ever agreed with

anything you've written here, I think it's highly disingenuous for people asking for you to be banned. You have just as much right to voice your opinion here as anyone else, just as they have the right to disagree with you.

Heck, if they started throwing people off this site for being assholes, I would have been bounced years ago.

Strawman defeated!

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Who cares if NU effects Chick-Fil-A at all? That wasn't the point of any of this.

Chick-Fil-A doesn't stop with Gay

They think it is their business to nose into the marital and familial relationships of all their employees.

2. Chick-Fil-A Reportedly Favors Married Employees, Investigates Their Personal Lives
Chick-Fil-A's Employment Practices Are Hostile Towards "Sinful" Candidates. Chick-fil-A requires potential franchise operators to disclose their marital status, number of dependents, and involvement in social, church, and other organizations. Employees may be fired for engaging in "sinful" behavior, and Truett Cathy has said he aims to hire workers who are married:

Loyalty to the company isn't the only thing that matters to Cathy, who wants married workers, believing they are more industrious and productive. One in three company operators have attended Christian-based relationship-building retreats through WinShape at Berry College in Mount Berry, Ga. The programs include classes on conflict resolution and communication. Family members of prospective operators--children, even--are frequently interviewed so Cathy and his family can learn more about job candidates and their relationships at home. "If a man can't manage his own life, he can't manage a business," says Cathy, who says he would probably fire an employee or terminate an operator who "has been sinful or done something harmful to their family members." [Forbes, 2/23/07]


And this is why

By on should be illegal to have discriminatory policies instead of the current laws requiring that an individual has been discriminated against and is willing to file a complaint.

If you go on the record and state as a business owner that you think it's a great thing to violate laws that bar discrimination based on religious affiliation or marital status, there should at least be something in place where the EEOC will send a letter telling you that such practices are discriminatory and ordering you to make sure you're following the law.