Following other colleges that have stopped serving Chick-fil-A on their campuses, University of South Florida students and faculty are being invited to sign an online petition to remove Chick-fil-A from the Marshall Student Center.
Dr. Scott Ferguson, assistant professor in the Department of Humanities & Cultural Studies at the University of South Florida started the petition about a month ago on change.org, a website that allows anyone to create their own grassroots campaign in any subject. The goal is to reach 1,000 signatures, and the petition has garnered more than 500. Anyone can sign the petition.
“Inspired by similar efforts at college campuses across the United States, this petition aims to censure Chick-fil-A’s discriminatory practices against the LGBT community as well as to foster a more diverse and just campus life at the University of South Florida,” the petition reads.
A national tempest against Chick-fil-A began over the summer when its president, Dan Cathy, said in a radio interview that he supports the concept of traditional marriage, versus same-sex marriage. Since then, gay rights groups, activists and supporters have been attacking Cathy and the chicken chain.
“Chick-fil-A currently serves thousands of students a year at the University of South Florida,” the petition reads. “However, the company has spoken openly against LGBT equality and consistently funded groups that seek to curb LGBT rights. In fact, Chick-fil-A has donated over $5 million dollars to anti-gay organizations between 2003 - 2010, supporting groups such as Focus On The Family, Exodus International, and the Family Research Council.
“As a campus that stands for diversity and inclusion, the University of South Florida should not fund a company that supports anti-equality measures. LGBT rights are human rights and no university should cooperate with a group that is openly against human rights. By removing the Chick-fil-A vendor from the Marshall Center, the USF community will affirm its commitment to all of its members.”
It is uncertain whether the petition will actually shut down the Chick-fil-A on USF’s campus, according to an 813area.com story. But those who have signed the petition say they won’t support the restaurant.
“USF is a place of diversity and tolerance,” wrote Lucia Baker of Tampa for why she signed the petition. “There is no place for a bigoted organization like this so we need to do all we can to remove it from the MSC dining area.”
Do you think Chick-fil-A should be removed from the USF campus, or do you support the chicken chain? Tell us in the comments.