“Eat Mor Chikin”?
It is nearly impossible to turn on the news or open a newspaper without seeing something about the recent debate concerning the popular fast food chain, Chick-fil-A. The controversy revolves around the president and COO of the business, Dan Cathy, and his views on gay marriage.
Cathy, growing up in the Baptist church, said, “…As an organization we can operate on biblical principles,” and “we are very much supportive of the family- the biblical definition of the family unit,” raising controversy amongst Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay, and Transgender (LBGT) supporters.
Chick-fil-A ranks amongst the most popular in fast food in the local community, however many question how prominent it will be with the recent debate taking place, and so close to the beginning of a new school year. As an after school hangout spot, a club and activity favorite for food, and teachers’ way of bribing students to do homework, some believe Chick-fil-A may fall with Cathy’s views.
Carnell Tinson, vice president of the Gay Straight Alliance club, said that even though the scandal will stop certain people from giving business to the company, including himself, it will not have a lasting effect on East. “I believe it’s a matter of principle. If you believe in gay marriage then you probably don’t want to eat at Chick-fil-A anymore. If you don’t agree with gay marriage then you’ll probably continue eating there anyway,” he said. “In my own opinion I believe that if Chick-fil-A is beneficial to the school in any way then they should continue to endorse it, if not however I feel that it would be nice if East would stop.”
It is no secret that clubs and organizations around the school use Chick-fil-A for fundraisers, events, meetings, etc. Mrs. Wolf, the advisor for Student Council, says that the final decision of whether Student Council will use Chick-fil-A or not will be up to the students. “Ultimately it will be the decision of the students because it is a completely student-run organization,” she said. “It will be up to those specific chairs, with guidance from administration.”
In the past, Student Council alone has used the brand for the East vs. West receipt competition, which awarded the winning school, which was East, $1,000, and the bonfire, which served over 500 students last year. “It will be a tough call, because you have to be sensitive to some students,” she said.
Some East students even work at Chick-fil-A, like senior Maddy Oberholtzer. Maddy said that since the controversy, sales have actually increased, and she does not think it will have a lasting impact on the business. “If anything, I hope it raised awareness for Chick-fil-A, and it increases our sales to the students,” she said. “Honestly, the controversy has not affected me. I work at Chick-fil-A in order to make money for college and gas money.”
Maddy, like Shift Manager Richard Chessey, of Chick-fil-A, was not allowed to express her own beliefs on the subject. Maddy said, “Once in a while customers will come in and ask questions about where we stand on the issues, but as employees we are not allowed to state our side to the public.” When asked about his own opinion on the subject, Chessey, an employee for almost three years now, was told not to by a fellow manager. “Business is business, and we keep our own opinions out of it,” they said. Chessey added, “I think people get worked up by it in the heat of the moment, and it will fade away.”