April 12–Chik-fil-A Under Assault Again at Duquesne; Wellesley Defends First Amendment Disregard and Outlines Which Genders May Apply

Duquesne University in Pittsburgh reported on a March 26 Student Government Association attack on the Southern fried chicken vendor, Chik-fil-A.

The fast food franchise operates under Christian Southern Baptist values, famously closing on Sundays to allow employees to attend church. They also found themselves in hot peanut oil in 2012 when founder S. Truett Cathy (age: 91) and his son Dan (then COO, now CEO after S. Truett’s death) made statements to the media expressing their belief in marriage as a union of opposite sexes. Chik-fil-A has also reportedly given millions of dollars to pro-heterosexual marriage only organizations.

Specifically, according to Wikipedia, Dan Cathy said those who “have the audacity to define what marriage is about” were “inviting God’s judgment on our nation.”

Incidentally, 2012 was the year President Obama announced his support for gay marriage. Hillary Clinton announced her support the following year. Both campaigned for president in 2008 defending marriage as a union between man and woman only.

The Duke:

Senator at Large Niko Martini proposed that the SGA pass a resolution asking the university to reconsider the inclusion of Chick-fil-A as a dining option for students.

[…]

Chick-fil-A has a questionable history on civil rights and human rights,” he said in a statement to The Duke. “I think it’s imperative the university chooses to do business with organizations that coincide with the [university’s] mission and expectations they give students regarding diversity and inclusion.”

[…]

 

Lambda [Gay Straight Alliance] President Rachel Coury personally said she worries the safety provided by Gay-Straight Alliance might be in jeopardy.

“I’ve tried very hard within the last semester and a half to promote this safe environment for the LGBTQ+ community,” Coury said. “So I fear that with the Chick-fil-A being in Options that maybe people will feel that safe place is at risk.”

Duquesne announced March 20 the addition of the Chick-fil-A Express to the Options Food Court beginning in the upcoming fall semester. The decision to add a Chick-fil-A was a response to student feedback, according to Duquesne spokeswoman Bridget Fare.

 

The problem seems to stem from a $1,017,610 donation Chik-fil-A made to Fellowship of Christian Athletes in 2014.

The FCA has a “Sexual Purity Statement” for its volunteers and staff. It includes stipulations such as, “The Bible is clear in teaching on sexual sin including sex outside of marriage and homosexual acts. Neither heterosexual sex outside of marriage nor any homosexual act constitute an alternative lifestyle acceptable to God.”

[…]

“It would be a really big deal for Lambda and the whole LGBTQ community on campus if someone could make a statement to eliminate the fear of being marginalized by having this business on campus,” Coury said.

 

[all our emphasis]

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Duquesne is not the first left-leaning university to decry the dangerous chicken. Student government at The Johns Hopkins University in 2015 preemptively banned Chik-fil-A from operating on campus. The Southern fried chicken giant had reportedly not even considered vending to the $3.4 billion-endowed charitable organization at the time of the ban.

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It was shaping up to be quite a day for “higher education.” The Wellesley News, student newspaper of the private all-female Massachusetts school Wellesley College, ran a typo- and error-rife editorial defending the suppression of speech they do not endorse.

It read in part:

“Wellesley is certainly not a place for racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, transphobia or any other type of discriminatory speech. Shutting down rhetoric that undermines the existence and rights of others is not a violation of free speech; it is hate speech [sic?]. The founding fathers put free speech in the Constitution as a way to protect the disenfranchised and to protect individual citizens from the power of the government. The spirit of free speech is to protect the suppressed, not to protect a free-for-all where anything is acceptable, no matter how hateful and damaging.

“Students who come to Wellesley hail from a variety of diverse backgrounds. With this diversity comes previously-held biases that are in part the products of home environments. Wellesley forces us to both recognize and grow from these beliefs, as is the mark of a good college education. However, as students, it is important to recognize that this process does not occur without bumps along the way. It is inevitable that there will be moments in this growth process where mistakes will happen and controversial statements will be said [sic].

We have all said problematic claims [sic], the origins of which were ingrained in us by our discriminatory and biased society. Luckily, most of us have been taught by our peers and mentors at Wellesley in a productive way. It is vital that we encourage people to correct and learn from their mistakes rather than berate them for a lack of education they could not control.

“This being said, if people are given the resources to learn and either continue to speak hate speech or refuse to adapt their beliefs, then hostility may be warranted.

[…]

It is important to note that our preference for education over beration [sic] regards students who may have not been given the chance to learn. Rather, we are not referring to those who have already had the incentive to learn and should have taken the opportunities to do so [sic]. Paid professional lecturers and politicians are among those who should know better.

[…]

There is no denying that problematic opinions need to be addressed in order to stop Wellesley from becoming a place where hate speech and casual discrimination is okay. 

[all our emphasis]

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Our research of the $48,802/year-tuition outfit found some guidelines as to exactly what qualifies a woman’s application to Wellesley. (Men are ineligible to apply.)

From the Reaffirmation of Mission and Announcing Gender Policy and FAQ:

What does it mean to “live as a woman and consistently identify as a woman”?

Wellesley invites applications from all those who live as women and consistently identify as women and who are prepared for a rigorous academic environment that challenges them to achieve at their highest potential.
 
“Consistently” simply denotes a student’s commitment to her gender identity. If an applicant’s gender identity is not clearly reflected in her application materials, the College will request additional information that may include a letter from a parent, healthcare provider, teacher, or clergy, to give a few examples.

Are trans men eligible for admission?

No. Wellesley is deeply committed to our mission to educate women and the College is proud of its history of graduating women who demonstrate the value of women’s leadership. Wellesley does not accept applications from men. Those assigned female at birth who identify as men are not eligible for admission.

Are trans women eligible for admission?

Yes. Wellesley accepts applications from women. Those assigned male at birth who identify as women are eligible for admission.

Are individuals assigned female at birth who identify as non-binary eligible for admission?

Yes. That said, Wellesley is a college dedicated to the education of women. The College provides students with a uniquely empowering learning environment—one designed specifically to prepare women to thrive in a complex world. This singular focus on women is a critical part of the Wellesley experience. Wellesley accepts applications from those who were assigned female at birth and who feel they belong in our community of women.

 

What support will Wellesley provide if a student no longer identifies as a woman after matriculation?

We support all of our students. Once accepted to Wellesley, every student receives the full support and mentorship of College faculty, staff, and administrators through graduation. If, after being accepted, a student no longer identifies as a woman, the College will continue to support that student. If a student decides to transfer because the student would prefer another educational and social environment, Wellesley will support and facilitate that choice. If the student wishes to continue on and graduate from Wellesley, we will support that choice as well.

 

[all our emphasis]

Interestingly, Hillary is a Wellesley alumnus.

Thanks to our sources:

Student group leaders concerned about Duquesne Chick-fil-A

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0512/76109_Page2.html

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2015/jun/17/hillary-clinton/hillary-clinton-change-position-same-sex-marriage/

http://time.com/3834244/johns-hopkins-chick-fil-a/

https://www.usnews.com/best-colleges/wellesley-college-2224

Free speech is not violated at Wellesley

http://www.wellesley.edu/about/president/trustees/announcement#YkQX7R11SdJJJCzC.99