Thursday, March 1, 2012

NYU Rejects Ban of Anti-Gay Marriage Chick-fil-A On Grounds of Freedom of Speech

Posted By on Thu, Mar 1, 2012 at 4:09 PM

Dammit, Citizens United. Just because the Supreme Court ruled in 2010 that corporations have the right to express themselves freely through campaign financing doesn't mean that everyone else has to make decisions based on that flawed and dangerous logic. The latest grievance: Chick-fil-A's "freedom of expression" at NYU.

In January, an NYU freshman started a petition to ban the NYU campus' and New York City's only Chick-fil-A, highlighting the company's $2 million donations in 2009 to anti-gay groups like Focus On The Family, Exodus International, and the Family Research Council. The petition collected nearly 11,000 signatures, and other college campuses began to take notice as well. On Wednesday, Northeastern University clipped its ties to the fast food chain. But despite NYU's large LGBTQ community, it seems NYU's student government isn't so willing to part ways with its waffle fries.

In a statement released to NYU students and faculty Thursday, the NYU Student Senators Council explained its decision:

As a general rule, the Student Senators Council believes that freedom of expression is the most important virtue of an institute devoted to education. The SSC also believes there is a fundamental difference between personal boycott and institutional prohibition. To ban any entity from campus for ideological reasons is, in most every case, to limit freedom of expression. It is because of this fact that the Council takes the weight of evidence very seriously when considering proposed bans.

After extensive deliberation, the Student Senators Council agreed that there was insufficient evidence at this time to justify a ban of Chick-Fil-A. At this point, there have been no reported acts of discrimination on the part of the restaurant chain, according to the information presented to the council and the additional research undertaken. It is for this reason that the Council voted not to support an institutional ban of Chick-Fil-A.

Well, the first part doesn't make much sense. Banning an entity from campus IS an expression of the student body, one that the student government is clearly placing second to the "rights" of a fast food chain on campus. But be honest: Even if that Chick-fil-A is the jewel in the NYU dining halls' crown, don't use "freedom of expression" as an excuse; it just leaves a bad taste in everybody's mouth.

[via NYU Local]

You can follow Sydney Brownstone on Twitter @sydbrownstone

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