Elon SGA passes resolution against Chick-Fil-A
A resolution proposed to Elon’s Student Government Association by Spectrum was passed Thursday. With the passing of the legislation, the SGA took a stance against Chick-fil-A’s presence on the University’s campus.
“I didn’t know what to expect coming in here,” Vice President of Spectrum Laura Lee Sturm said. “I was actually surprised at how many senators said the discussion that happened tonight actually changed their minds.”
The resolution passed the Senate with 35 for the legislation and 11 against.
Students from both sides of the resolution shared their personal stories and Sturm thinks that played a key role.
“Hearing two testimonials of people who’ve been through conversion therapy and seeing how that’s negatively impacted their emotional wellbeing that brings it home,” she said. “That says ‘Oh look this is on campus.”
SGA allowed the forums discussion to be open to all students and many students took advantage of that.
“By removing Chick-Fil-A, you can have an open place and open that to a food service that truly supports all Elon’s values,” Spectrum member Will Brummett said.
Many students in favor of the proposed resolution shared emotional and deep stories.
“When I came out to my mom she asked me if I wanted to change, at first I said yes,” senior Ben Poole said. “She said someone at the church that could help me and when I told her I changed my mind she said if I didn’t go she’d tell my dad.”
Poole said he didn’t know what to think about Elon anymore.
“I don’t know if Elon is an accepting place if we put a piece of fried chicken before people.”
But other students like junior Jack Minor didn’t agree with the logic.
“One thing I love about Elon is that we are open to all opinions. But tonight I don’t think that’s happening tonight,” Minor said.
“Chick-Fil-A is entitled to free speech. This resolution will have no impact. At the end of the day Elon will make the best decision for them,” he said.
And one emotional testimony came from faculty member Paul Geis. Geis shared that he felt he didn’t belong when he was a junior in college and was on his way to his room to kill himself and luckily his roommate happened to be there and talked him out of it.
“I was on my way to my apartment to kill myself. Not because I was gay. But because I wasn’t supported. I felt like a second class citizen,” Geis said.
Even after the vote was in favor of taking a stance against Chick-Fil-A, SGA president Darien Flowers said he is still unsure if he is going to sign it. He has until October 25 to decide.
Christine Mavraganis, a SGA senate member, feels that’s a smart choice.
“I think the reactions from people who are in support of the bill were inappropriate. It definitely has an effect on how people act and how the vote,” Mavraganis said. “There was no emotional support for the opposite side.”
Mavraganis says the SGA still has a lot to talk about in the next few weeks.
“I believe the correct action at this time is to recommend to President Lambert to allow time for Dan Cathy to change his opinions,” said senior Max Piland. “I don’t think the SGA or President Lambert should get into the habit of removing people from our community without giving them chance to change.”