With great aplomb, the Purdue University Senate passed what it has deemed an “inclusion resolution,” requiring all on-campus businesses to “uphold the same values” espoused by the Lafayette, Indiana, college.
Those “values” include policies on “inclusivity,” particularly as it comes to sexual orientations, according to Campus Reform. The resolution was agreed upon after it was announced Chick-fil-A would open its doors on Purdue’s campus next fall.
“Purdue University does not condone and will not tolerate discrimination against any individual on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, age, national origin or ancestry, genetic information, disability, status as a veteran, marital status, parental status, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression,” the resolution reads in part. Businesses that operate on school property would be required to “promote inclusivity with their policies, hiring practices, and actions.”
The university’s student body president, Jo Boileau, is against Chick-fil-A having a place on Purdue property and said it’s an issue “worth fighting.”
“It’s on me to use the platform to uplift the voices of those in my community,” he wrote. “If we can predict that ANY university action will negatively affect ~17% of our undergraduate population, we have an obligation to prevent it.”
Alice Pawley, an associate professor for Purdue’s school of engineering education, told the Lafayette Journal & Courier Chick-fil-A’s presence on the campus could in some way impede LGBTQ students’ education.
“I can speak to how I think about having on campus a symbol of discrimination against LGBTQ people will affect Purdue’s ability to provide a campus environment where our LGBTQ students can learn fairly compared to their straight peers, as I think it does,” she told the newspaper.
It’s difficult, though, to see how Chick-fil-A’s policies would in any way impact an individual just because she or he identifies with the LGBTQ community. While the founder’s son and current CEO, Dan Cathy, years ago shared his personal belief that marriage is a union between one man and one woman, the company is legally bound to comply with all non-discrimination policies. While anecdotal, this writer has been to a fair amount of Chick-fil-A restaurants and can personally attest to being served by people of just about every race, creed, orientation, and religion.
Todd Kelley, a professor of technology, leadership and innovation in the Purdue Polytechnic Institute, is a Christian and wondered if the Senate considered ways to promote civil discourse when people hold disparate views, such as over “the LGBTQ agenda.”
“Being a Christian male — a white, Christian male – on this campus, there are times I feel censored,” he told the Journal & Courier. “I fear for this country where we get to a place where somebody who believes in the Bible is considered a hater.”
Regardless, it looks like Boileau and his counterparts on the Senate are in the minority. Student body senators Joshua David and Zach Steward said in a press release obtained by WHTR-TV that a recent Purdue Student Government survey with around 4,000 respondents found a whopping 93 percent of students, faculty, and staff members support bringing Chick-fil-A to the Indiana college campus.
“[C]ompanies take political and religious positions frequently,” David and Steward said in a joint statement. “It would be difficult to live in the modern world without taking advantage of products made by people or organizations we disagree with.”
They continued, “Companies like Papa John’s, Jimmy John’s, and Subway have had executives display behaviors many of us would disagree with, yet they remain popular food options here at Purdue. The goal in bringing a Chick-fil-A to campus is to expand our food options in a way students have wanted for a long time.”