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UNF student makes plea to keep Chick-fil-A off campus

4:06 PM, Sep 28, 2012   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A University of North Florida student made an impassioned plea at a recent UNF Student Government Association meeting against having a Chick-fil-A on campus.

The decision to have the restaurant on campus is stirring a debate due to politics of same-sex marriage and the expressed position of Chick-fil-A president and COO Dan Cathy.

In July, Cathy said that his privately owned company is "guilty as charged" in support of what he called the biblical definition of the family unit.

Earlier this month, a Chicago lawmaker said that Chick-fil-A is re-evaluating the multimillion-dollar donations the company gives to anti-gay marriage activists and other groups with "political agendas," after Cathy's pro-traditional marriage comments created a firestorm in the fast-food world between LGBT supporters and gay-marriage opponents.

Alex Tarter, a junior majoring in psychology, told the UNF SGA on Monday that Cathy recently appeared on Mike Huckabee's Fox News show recently and said that Chick-fil-A was in fact not going to change its practices.

Huckabee posted a statement from Cathy on his website: "There continues to be erroneous implications in the media that Chick-fil-A changed our practices and priorities in order to obtain permission for a new restaurant in Chicago. That is incorrect. Chick-fil-A made no such concessions, and we remain true to who we are and who we have been."

Tarter said he and other members of the gay community do not understand why the new restaurant on campus needed to be a Chick-fil-A.

"Let me tell you how it feels to have someone go on national TV and say they hate you. To say that not only do they hate you, but it's part of their values and belief system to hate you," Tarter said.

Tarter spoke for just over two minutes until he was cut off for going over the allotted two-minute time limit.

On Friday, UNF's student government sent a survey to students, asking "Are you in favor of replacing Sbarros with Chick-fil-A and Salsaritas with Papa Johns?"

SGA President Carlo Fassi said they previously surveyed 15% of the student body and 80% approved the switch.

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