Plans continue for Chick-fil-A at University of South Dakota
The University of South Dakota says it will stick with Chick-fil-A as a restaurant choice in the expansion of the Muenster Student Center.
Chick-fil-A fell under scrutiny earlier this year after company owner Dan Cathy made public statements supporting what he called "traditional marriage."
University of South Dakota and South Dakota State University were looking into adding Chick-fil-A to their students' eatery choices. Some student groups at SDSU opposed the coming of Chick-fil-A, but majority proponent support kept the plans in motion.
According to news release from USD, on September 25 the University was urged to reject Chick-fil-A out of respect for gay, lesbian and transgender people during a campus forum attended by about 50 people. However, others at the forum said those who disagree with Chick-fil-A have the option of boycotting the restaurant once it opens on campus.
University of South Dakota President Jim Abbott said USD is opposed to discrimination and they are sympathetic to those who object the notions of Chick-fil-A's owner. However, he said that doesn't mean the school can in-turn discriminate against the restaurant.
"But we are advised by counsel that the University cannot discriminate against a vendor because of protected speech or the religious views of the company owners," Abbott said in a news release, after discussing the issue with the University's Executive Committee.
Qdoba and Einstein Bros. Bagels will also join Chick-fil-A in the new addition to USD's student center. The restaurants were the top choices in a 2011 students' survey. The expansion of the Muenster Student Center is scheduled to open in 2014.