Stockton to eye removing Chick-fil-A

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GALLOWAY – Richard Stockton College President Herman J. Saatkamp will return to his office from Thanksgiving vacation Monday to face an issue involving chicken.

The Student Senate wants Saatkamp to ask Chick-fil-A to leave campus.

The Senate voted 14-10, with two abstentions, to send a letter of resolution Monday, Nov. 26.

Saatkamp will have to decide if he wants to consider trying to break a 10-year contract with the chicken franchise, which has been dealing with controversy since comments were made by its Chief Operating Officer Dan Cathy last summer opposing same-sex marriage.

Chick-fil-A’s charitable organization, the WinShape Foundation, donates to the Family Research Council, which has allegedly lobbied against a resolution that would denounce Uganda’s "Kill the Gays” bill. The bill calls for the death penalty for anyone who commits an act of homosexuality, which has been deemed a crime in Uganda.

The Family Research Council has denied opposing the resolution, stating its goal was to clarify inaccuracies concerning homosexuality being a fundamental human right.

Stockton Affiliated Services has a contract with Chartwells, which contracts with the individual restaurants in the CampusCenter.

A recent survey of Stockton students found 66 percent support keeping the restaurant on campus.

Senate President A.J. Vervoort said a division was taking place at the school, where the Senate wants all to feel welcomed and supported.

Members of the Stockton Pride Alliance, which represents the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, have attended the Senate’s last two meetings to express concerns about being discriminated against and saying the perceived discrimination was encouraged by Chick-fil-A’s presence.

Senators are elected by the student body. The 27 elected choose the president.

Vervoort said the group’s concern is that the college follows its policies.

Whether students buy from Chick-fil-A or not, a portion of their meal fees go to the company.

Senators were divided on whether it was a freedom of speech or human rights issue.


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