Indiana University at South Bend has removed a Chick-fil-A outlet from its campus after learning that the chain is supporting an event in Pennsylvania that IUSB administrators consider anti-gay, reports the local WSBT news station. Chick-fil-A is providing a lunch at The Art of Marriage conference in February, according to the online conference agenda.
The art of Marriage is being sponsored by the Pennsylvania Family Institute, an organization that promotes a conservative point of view on cultural issues, including opposition to same-sex marriage.
"Providing food to these events or any event is not an endorsement of the mission, political stance or motives of this or any other organization,” counters Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy in an online video addressing the issue.
UPDATE: IUSB administrators disputed the WSBT story cited above, saying that Chick-fil-A remains an approved vendor for the University of Indiana system. "At IU South Bend the administration has suspended the once-a-week service of Chick-Fil-A at its two main dining areas, pending a review of our food service menu offerings and an issue raised by a student group and members of the executive committee of the academic senate," according to a posting on the school's official news web page. "A student group and several faculty members requested that steps be taken to prevent Chick-Fil-A from providing service to IU South Bend because of reports that an out-of-state Chick-Fil-A franchise will be donating food to an event that promotes traditional family and marriage. The suspension of once-a-week service does not reflect an endorsement of any position but was done to give the campus time to properly review the issue with the appropriate representatives. At IU South Bend, discussion of all sides of an issue is welcomed and appreciated."
The release goes on to note that "students, faculty and staff at IU South Bend can continue to use Chick-Fil-A for food at events if they choose. A decision about food offerings at IU South Bend dining areas will be made when the review is complete."
UPDATE 2: Indiana University South Bend Chancellor Una Mae Reck has reinstated Chick-fil-A as a food provider at the two main dining areas on campus, the school has announced.
"I appreciate the input I received from people on all sides of this issue,” said Reck. “I heard from many students, faculty, staff, alumni and citizens from across the area, the state and the country. No one was shy about their point of view. I am confident this decision is the correct one for the campus, although I know not everyone will agree.
“IU South Bend is a public university where all ideas and beliefs are welcome,” she added. “Chick-fil-A is an American company that has the right to provide its food and resources to any event it wants to support. The South Bend franchise, in particular, has been very supportive of IU South Bend and all of our students. I look forward to our two institutions working together. IU South Bend is committed to IU’s policies on non-discrimination and diversity. Upon review, it is clear that the local Chick-fil-A franchise providing sandwiches to the campus in no way violates the letter or spirit of those policies.”