The 29-year-old marriage between Chick-fil-A and Atlanta’s gayest college, Emory, is headed to divorce court. Despite public pronouncements otherwise, the school hates the chicken chain and, within months, it will be scrubbed from campus.
What happened? After all, the Atlanta-based restaurant chain ranks highly for customer service, trust, experience and forgiveness among customers if they screw up your waffle fry experience. The cash continues to pour into Chick-fil-A. Even a top Emory official said the restaurant wouldn’t be pushed from campus over anti-gay comments from Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy last summer.
Turns out, that’s exactly what happened. On Friday, campus newspaper Emory Wheel tweeted that Chick-fil-A was done on campus. On Tuesday, the paper offered up details on the breakup. The official explanation? A planned facelift of the campus food court means replacing those tasty chicken sandwiches dotted with a pickle with pizza and pasta. Pass the marinara sauce, please.
Digest that. Or read between the lines of this not-so-subtle message from David Furhman, senior director of Emory’s Food Service Administration:
Furhman said the decision to remove Chick-fil-A from all three of the proposed floor plans was based solely on student feedback that his office has received through a series of surveys and focus groups. The removal of Chick-fil-A was not a politically motivated move, nor was it spurred by the outcries against it that have taken place on campus, Furhman said.
“What we learned was that there was no great affinity or love for Chick-fil-A,” Furhman said. “It was more of an affinity or love of the convenience, and what students also told us was that they didn’t really love Chick-fil-A.”
Chick-fil-A was the charity fuck of Emory students. They dined there because it was convenient.
Really, though, the relationship wasn’t tarnished by the uproar over Cathy’s comments? The school chided the chicken chain, its student government passed a resolution against it and students even protested. Of course the controversy impacted Chick-fil-A’s presence on campus. Cathy’s core values didn’t mesh with the school’s. And that, more than any survey or focus group, put Emory and Chick-fil-A in divorce court.
Chick-fil-A is America’s favorite fast food chain. Just not Emory’s.
UPDATE: Emory says no final decision has been made on Chick-fil-A. Uh-huh.