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University statement indicates committee will review presence of Chick-fil-A at Elon

October 21, 2012

Elon University’s decision to retain a business relationship with Chick-fil-A is still in consideration. Photo by Claire Esparros.

The question about whether Chick-fil-A should continue as a vendor at Elon University has generated considerable debate on campus and beyond.

In response to a student-authored resolution opposing the university’s relationship with Chick-fil-A, Student Government Association hosted a forum Oct. 11 that invited students, faculty and staff to express their opinions regarding the restaurant’s presence on campus prior to the senate’s vote. Strong opinions have been shared in open forums, Student Government Association meetings, student media, online forums, and in phone calls and emails to the university.

Although the senate voted 35-11 in favor of the resolution to sever ties with Chick-fil-A and Darien Flowers, SGA executive president, vetoed the legislation, a final decision on the matter has not yet been reached.

“My veto is advisory, just like anything SGA does,” Flowers said. “The great thing about the university is we operate as a system of shared governance. We share a responsibility for how the university is run.”

The executive committee of Elon’s Board of Trustees has elected to create a study committee to research the university’s procurement policies and business relationships with external vendors. The study committee will present a report to the Board of Trustees later this academic year.

The current Chick-fil-A restaurant will remain open on campus while the policies are being developed.

William Herber, Elon trustee and alumnus, and Connie Book, associate provost for academic affairs will chair the study committee will be chaired.  President Leo Lambert and Board of Trustees Chair Wes Elingburg will appoint the other members of the study committee in consultation with Elon faculty, staff and student leaders.

Those who wish to share their opinions may send an email to the study committee at vendorpolicy@elon.edu.

According to a press release by Dan Anderson, vice president of university communications, the debate concerning Elon’s relationship with Chick-fil-A will include discussions about the rights of free speech and expression and fostering an inclusive campus environment that supports each member of the campus community.

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