Sunday, December 4 2022

One unfortunate trend I’ve noticed since I started attending Minnesota State University, Mankato is the steady decline in the number of affordable food options in the Centennial Student Union.

First was the removal of the pizzeria in the basement of CSU where individual slices of pizza could be purchased for a few dollars. Now they have replaced Jazzmans with Starbucks on the first floor. No more stopping there for a cup of coffee in the evening, I guess, because a cup of drip coffee costs almost three bucks.

Anyway, as a diabetic, I feel like trying to find sugar-free or low-sugar options for drinks just got a little harder.

This is just an annoying detail when it comes to campus dining options. Returning students might also notice that the homophobic chicken restaurant, Chick-fil-A, not only moved to CSU’s basement, but also expanded in size as part of the move.

Chick-fil-A has a reputation for being a homophobic and anti-LGBTQ company with its CEO Dan Cathy having a history of vocal opposition to marriage equality in addition to Chick-fil-A’s history of giving money to anti-LGBTQ organizations.

In 2012, Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy twice asserted his opposition to marriage equality in statements made during an interview with the Ken Coleman Show as well as the Biblical Recorder.

“I think we’re inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake his fist and say, ‘We know better than you what constitutes marriage,'” Cathy told The Ken Coleman Show. “I pray God’s mercy upon our generation who have such a proud and arrogant attitude to think we have the audacity to define what marriage is.”

Organizations Chick-fil-A has donated to in the past include the Salvation Army and Exodus International.

Exodus International, which no longer exists, once promoted conversion therapy, a pseudoscientific practice that can be described as torturing LGBTQ people into not being LGBTQ anymore.

Chick-fil-A also donated to the Southern Poverty Law Center-designated hate group, The Family Research Council.

It’s true that Chick-fil-A has repeatedly pledged to stop donating to anti-LGBTQ organizations, most recently in 2019. The problem is, they’ve broken that promise almost as often as they have done it.

More recently, a 2021 Daily Beast report revealed that CEO Dan Cathy is one of the National Christian Charitable Foundation’s biggest donors. Currently, the National Christian Charitable Foundation is funding efforts to prevent the passage of the Equality Act, a bill which, if passed, would prohibit discrimination based on gender, sexual orientation and gender identity.

When I started at MSU Mankato, it seemed like Chick-Fil-A was our campus’ dirty little secret tucked away in a back corner of the CSU dining hall. Seeing it benefit from an expanded space in the basement was therefore a disappointing surprise. Given MSU Mankato’s stated values ​​of diversity and inclusion, I have many questions as to why Chick-fil-A was not only allowed to continue operations on campus, but was deemed fit. to have more space.

Header photo: Chick-fil-A is known to have donated to several anti-LGBTQ organizations over the years. (Dylan Engel / The Reporter)

Write to Jeremy Redlien at [email protected]

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