Jack Semancik is a political science sophomore and KCPR DJ. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of Mustang News.
One would think that Jeffrey Armstrong – who earned a doctorate from North Carolina State University in 1986 – would make some attempt to avoid logical fallacies. Unfortunately, his role as University President did not prevent him from committing a slippery slope fallacy in his remarks about the Academic Senate’s resolution urging the Cal Poly Corporation to remove Chick-fil-A from campus. Perhaps logic is not a required course in Raleigh.
Armstrong’s love affair with homophobic chicken signals his willful ignorance towards issues that matter to the campus community. While Armstrong may not see this as a prescient issue facing our campus, the Academic Senate sure does. The proposed resolution passed with four opposed and one abstention.
I write to you, dear reader, in support of removing Chick-fil-A from our campus. Their history of anti-LGBTQ+ positions should not reflect the promoted values of our university. Our money should not be going towards a corporation whose President and Chief Operating Officer who, when asked about his opposition to marriage equality, once remarked, “As it relates to society in general, I think we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at him and say, ‘We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage.’ I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we would have the audacity to try to redefine what marriage is all about.”
The presence of a Chick-fil-A does two things: Firstly, it signals that Cal Poly does not respect its LGBTQ+ students and, secondly, it signals that Cal Poly is a fan of mediocre chicken. Cal Poly, although it continues to have its struggles in areas of equality, should work towards being a welcoming and inclusive campus – and we should certainly be more discerning than to allow for a company as cruel and tasteless as Chick-fil-A.
Ultimately, the reason for the administration’s refusal to act on the Chick-fil-A issue comes down to those fat stacks of cash that rack up in Cal Poly Corporation bank accounts. In the nine months for which Chick-fil-A was open in 2018, it brought in about $2.2 million in revenue. Chick-fil-A is the most popular restaurant under Campus Dining’s purview, and it is obvious we have an administration reluctant to lose these funds.
So, what can we do? Aside from hoping, by some act of divine grace, that Armstrong stumbles upon a burning bush that causes him to reverse his position, we can act directly by boycotting Chick-fil-A in the meantime. However, we should not relent to Armstrong’s fallaciousness and resort to boycotting solely. Rather, we need to continue to let President Armstrong and the Cal Poly Corporation know that we will not let a company so unaligned with the values of equality and openness to continue to operate on our campus.
Author of the resolution Dr. Thomas Gutierrez remarked, “We are not under any obligation to do business with Chick-fil-A.” It is high time we replace Chick-fil-A with something more reflective of our values (personally, I’m partial to the idea of a campus Panda Express).
As for Armstrong, he should stick to building fences to divide the campus — at least we can make memes out of that.