Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2016-10-19
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



Bradley U. alum objects to Chick-fil-A installment
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times by Melissa Wasserman

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

A Bradley University alum is making a stand as his alma mater prepares to add a new Chick-fil-A in the Michel Student Center's food court.

To Eric Miller, including a franchise whose CEO recently made statements against same-sex marriage and who donates to anti-gay organizations goes against the advertised core values.

"It's bringing students in under a false guise of promising a safe learning environment that's free of hate and free of any anti-gay remarks against them, but then they're bringing in a business like Chick-fil-A to be on campus," said the 2010 graduate. "Bradley needs to stand up and publicize what its true message is going to be."

Miller was initially drawn to the Peoria, Ill., school because of its core values and enjoyed what he described as a welcoming environment. During his time there, he was involved with the Wellness Program called HEAT (an acronym for Help Empower and Teach), which acted as a peer education group focusing on health and safety on campus.

Disagreeing with the university's business decision to include a Chick-fil-A in the student center, a hub for campus activity, Miller took action by writing an objection letter to the university president and spokesperson July 29.

"You will go out and express who you are and find out the kind of mark you want to make on the world and it's not just about finding your career path, but it's really about self reflection and identifying the type of person you want to grow up to be and a lot of the things I took away from Bradley are part of the reason I'm coming back at it now," Miller said.

According to Miller, the danger of including the corporation on the campus involves Bradley collecting a profit from its sales and also assisting in its continuation of funding anti-gay organizations.

"I felt it was my role and my duty as an [alumnus] having gone through a great Bradley experience and picking up all of these things, these lessons, these morals, these values that were instilled to me while I was at Bradley," he said. "I need to come back and use that education that I paid for to educate the administration now."

A week later, on Aug. 2, after the letter ran in Peoria Journal Star, Bradley University Vice President of Business Affairs Gary Anna sent a response letter on behalf of the university. Anna defended their position by stating the fast food chain is merely an option in the food court and that the university had to abide by certain policies.

"As you may realize, it is most difficult for the University to impose our policies on others—in particular when those practices, contrary to our policies, have no direct bearing on campus life or the experiences of those at Bradley," read the letter.

Miller expressed disappointment and betrayal with the university's lack of empathy or definitive stance on the matter.

"If they want to separate themselves from this they need to say this is a business decision, we're not supporting it, we're doing these things to counter that support," said Miller. "This whole notion that their hands are tied and they can't do anything, it just really feels like a slap in the face to me. They need to learn from this and establish a way to better screen the business vendors they're going to be doing business with."

Miller fought back, responding to Anna's letter. As he addressed each paragraph of Anna's reply, he provided researched statistic as well as steps the school could potentially take to help rectify the situation.

"It's really coming from a data-driven, factual basis and not 'This is how I feel emotionally and I just want to spout off the first thing that comes to mind,'" he said. "I really wanted to provide a response and lead a conversation, a dialogue, with the administration on how this truly will affect not only current students, but alumi as well."

Miller has received an email with regard to his second letter informing him a response will be issued to him soon. It is still in question if Aramark Food Services, who represent Chick-fil-A suggested the fast food chain, or Bradley requested it. Miller aims to understand the processes that occurred and why the choice was made.

When asked for a comment, Bradley University Associate Vice President for Communications Shelley Epstein sent Windy City Times a statement that read, "Bradley University has a long history of embracing inclusion throughout the University community. The recent personal comments by Dan Cathy, president of Chick-fil-A, do not reflect the values of the University. Bradley respects all people, regardless of race, creed, color, gender or sexual orientation. As a University, we will continue to celebrate our diversity.

"Bradley recently received proposals for our dining services operation. Each of the three national firms that responded recommended Chick-fil-A as one of the anchors in our reconstructed Michel Center food court. As a result, there is now a five-year contract with Chick-fil-A to serve the Bradley community. The Michel Center food court is not part of our core residential dining plan and, therefore, dining at Chick-fil-A is discretionary for students and others in the University community."

Letters can be found on Miller's blog at . BRAVE: Bradley Respects and Values Everyone (NOT!), a Facebook group, serves as a sounding board for the cause on Facebook.

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

Community members discuss school for LGBT students 2016-10-23 - About 20 community advocates gathered Oct. 18 at McCormick Theological Seminary in Hyde Park for a brainstorming session about a possible LGBT-focused high ...

Gay News

Animated film on America's first mass school shooting at Music Box 2016-10-11 - TOWER, the documentary by Keith Maitland, opens at The Music Box Theatre on Friday, Nov. 4, 2016. TOWER is an animated ...

Gay News

Governor Signs Bill to Protect LGBT Students at Private Universities 2016-10-01 - Sacramento — California Governor Jerry Brown today signed Senate Bill ( SB ) 1146, authored by Senator Ricardo Lara ( D-Bell Gardens ) ...

Gay News

Gender-neutral restrooms at more suburban schools 2016-09-28 - Libertyville High and Vernon Hills High have added gender-neutral for trans students or anyone else wishing to use them, Daily Herald reports. Six ...

Gay News

Controversial NU professor can return to teaching 2016-09-28 - A lesbian Northwestern University political science professor who was, this summer, banned from campus and student contact was, on Sept. 19, given the ...

Gay News

LGBT business event focuses on supplier diversity 2016-09-28 - Law firm Baker & McKenzie hosted a Sept. 22 City Wide Pride event alongside the LGBT Chamber of Commerce of Illinois. Four panelists ...

Gay News

E. Patrick Johnson now heading NU's African-American studies 2016-09-28 - E. Patrick Johnson, Carlos Montezuma Professor of African-American Studies and Performance Studies, has been named the new chair of the African-American studies department ...

Gay News

Point Foundation Scholarship event to support LGBTQ students 2016-09-26 - Point Foundation ( Point ), which provides higher education scholarship, mentoring and leadership training to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer ( LGBTQ ...

Gay News

Safe Schools Alliance hosts annual benefit 2016-09-19 - The Illinois Safe Schools hosted their annual benefit brunch Sept. 18 at Christy Webber Landscapes on Chicago's West Side. This was their first ...

Gay News

Plans revived for LGBT-focused school 2016-09-17 - A symposium will be held in mid-October seeking community input for a renewed effort for an education program sensitive to the needs of ...


Copyright © 2016 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.








About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.
[email protected]  •  [email protected]  •  [email protected]

Website Powered by