The University will officially remove Chick-fil-A from the Cox Hall Food Court this summer.
Food Advisory Committee Emory (FACE) presented three proposed floor plans for Cox Hall at a student feedback meeting on March 7, none of which contained the Chick-fil-A currently present in the building. Chick-fil-A will be eliminated as a food option in Cox Hall as part of a facelift the food court will undergo during the summer, according to David Furhman, the senior director of Emory’s Food Service Administration.
The adopted floor plan will place a pizza and pasta venue where Chick-fil-A currently resides. Other changes will include the expansion of both the Mexican food and salad areas, as well as the construction of both a grab-and-go station and a coffee and bakery area.
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.”
Controversy regarding the national restaurant chain arose last summer when Chick-fil-A COO and President Dan Cathy publicly stated his opposition to gay marriage. Since then, members of Emory’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community formed a committee calling for Chick-fil-A’s removal from Cox Hall, and the Student Government Association (SGA) passed a resolution against Chick-fil-A’s presence on campus in December. Students also held a protest last semester.
Furhman said Chick-fil-A has existed on Emory’s campus for 29 years. Given FACE’s commitment to variety, he said, it was time to “shake things up a bit.”
Chick-fil-A did not meet Campus Life and student values, according to College sophomore Karoline Porcello, a FACE co-chair. She also specified that Chick-fil-A’s values were not the deciding factor in the removal of Chick-fil-A, though she said they were a contributing factor.
Student feedback was one of six criteria FACE used in determining whether current restaurants in Cox Hall would remain in their respective locations or be removed, according to College sophomore Michael Sacks, a FACE co-chair.
The six criteria included menu variety and flavor profiles, menu quality — for example, minimally processed and fresh —, brand commitment to sustainability, brand ethos and consistency with Campus Life core values, preferential survey data, and business, operational and financial considerations.
— By Asst. News Editor Dustin Slade
Photo by Photography Editor Emily Lin
A full version of this story will be published in next Friday’s issue.