There has been a massive controversy surrounding Rider University this past week. Quite frankly, I can't believe that this is such a big deal and don't understand why it gained national attention.
The school sent out a survey to students so that they could choose what restaurant they would like to see on campus. Out of all the restaurants proposed, Chick-fil-A was preferred by a majority of the student body.
Rider University decided that due to the values that the company has, Chick-fil-A should not be put on campus. As a part of Rider's initiative to promote inclusivity on campus, they decided that it would be best to steer away from it due to the restaurant chain's controversial history.
My initial thought was, why did they put it on the survey to begin with? Did they not already understand the values with which the chicken restaurant identified with? If they weren't going to allow that the restaurant to be built there, then why initiate the controversy?
However, I learned later that it was write-in vote, so Rider had no control over how many people would put Chick-fil-A as their top choice.
I'm stuck between two perspectives on this issue. I think it's great that Rider tries to include the students in making decisions and it's awesome that they care about the LGBTQ+ community. This is a community that needs support now more than ever.
At the same time, Rider is a private college, they ultimately have the final say in the decision. Students will have to deal with their choice.
It's unlikely that they will put Chick-fil-A on the campus, simply because of the controversy it has caused, but it'd be best to have a new survey with new restaurants. Even go as far to include a totally different list, then put the ones that students choose.
The answer is no. Chick-fil-A should not be built on campus, only because it will complicate things further for the administrators.
In the end, I believe that the entire school should be accounted for. It'd be best if they hold the forum, as they are suggesting, and hear the feedback. Huge props to Rider for attempting to do what they believe is best for their students.