Emory University is in Atlanta, Georgia, just 20 miles from the Chick-fil-A corporate headquarters. Since the full extent of Chick-fi-A’s anti-gay beliefs and giving fully came to light last summer, student leaders protested the continued presence of a franchise in the campus’s food court. In December, even the Student Government Association passed a resolution opposing Chick-fil-A. Ultimately, campus administrators issued a thoughtful statement acknowledging the stigma attached to the company, but explaining it was not grounds to cancel the contract. The students vowed not to back down, and now it seems Chick-fil-A will not be coming back to campus next year.
According to a tweet from Emory Wheel, the student newspaper, Chick-fil-A has been removed from the food court as part of its new layout. The full details for this change are not yet known, but some clues can be found in the statement originally provided by the university:
Any decision to by Sodexo [the campus dining contractor] to renew or not renew the contract with Chick-fil-A, or any other vendor, must be part of a dining vision to advance the purposes for which Emory has contracted with Sodexo. Opposing views must be acknowledged, recognizing that some differences are truly irreconcilable. [...]
Typical brand selection and replacement considerations include, but are not limited to, preferential surveys, strategic planning processes, campus master planning, sales trends, contract requirements, and brand re-imaging.
Perhaps the franchise’s sales plummeted, or perhaps it simply it no longer fit in the campus’s “master planning.” At any rate, it is a victory for LGBT students, who will no longer have to encounter a glowing symbol of anti-gay prejudice as they partake in lunch on campus.