By: Meghan Ashford, Contributing Writer & Joseph Fisher, Managing Editor
Every seat in the CGA Senate meeting was filled Tuesday afternoon at 5 p.m. for the open forum part of the meeting, attracting students and faculty alike to speak about the Chick-Fil-A proposed for campus in spring 2013.
After starting with standard business and housekeeping, CGA President David Abrams opened the floor up for comments. The audience took over from there, where members of the BU campus offered up their own opinions on the matter.
Chick-Fil-A, which is slated to be completed by early spring semester next year if approved, has a particularly negative political agenda when it comes to their relationship with the LGBTA community. Many feel as if this will affect our campus community. A Subway is also planned to open next year in fall 2012, but no concerns were expressed for that at the meeting.
Director of Residential Life, Tom Kresch, spoke first about why another eatery would be beneficial on campus. He stated that currently there are 5,300 meal plan participants. The Husky Lounge is designed to accommodate 2,600 meal plans per day; Kresch stated that adding an eatery like Chick-FIl-A would alleviate long lines and congestion.
One by one, member seated before the CGA got up to the microphone. One woman, who talked about being a lesbian in Bloomsburg, said that she wants to feel safe on campus. Her sentiments were shared with others who were in attendance.
Joyce Frank, a sophomore here at BU, does not support the Chick-Fil-A coming to campus because of their religious affiliations. Frank, who is a lesbian herself, feels as if her rights would be placed on the backburner.
“I already have to fight for my rights. It’s like a slap in the face,” said Frank.
Matt Albertson, who serves as a Husky Ambassador, started his speech off saying how he loves everything about Bloomsburg University. He wouldn’t a decision like this to negatively affect Bloomsburg’s image. Albertson also questioned why another restaurant could not replace Chick-Fil-A to make all students happy.
Chik-FIl-A has been under heavy pressure since they began donating money to hate-groups”such as the American Research Council, which is an anti-gay and anti-women’s health project.
BU faculty member Dianna Zoelle expressed her concern for the opening of a Chick-Fil-A on campus. Zoelle does not agree with state money supporting any type of political agenda.
“No one should feel discriminated against at their own school,” said BU student Mary Pellant. “The university neglected to get student’s opinions, which was a poor taste in judgment.”
Pellant got up to the microphone for a second time and stressed to the CGA how the student population and their opinions should be taken into consideration during a time of change.
Professor Godeke wrapped up the open forum portion by expressing his hope that this is only the beginning of the dialogue between the administration and university community. Godeke wants more students involvement in decisions that directly affect their college experience.
All these comments were accounted for by the CGA and will be reviewed. No decisions have been finalized to date.