How far would you go to defend Chick-Fil-A? Probably not as far as College of Business Administration at Rider University Dean Cynthia Newman. Well, make that former Dean Cynthia Newman, who has resigned in protest of the college’s decision to not install a Chick-fil-A on campus.
It all started when Rider administrators decided to survey students about which fast food joint they wanted to be installed on campus (an early lesson in this story: never ask college students what fast food joint they want to be installed anywhere). Chick-fil-A won the survey by a handy margin, according to The Washington Times, but the school called an audible over the chain’s CEO’s stance on LGBTQ issues.
As you probably know, Chick-fil-A president and CEO Dan Cathy does not affirm same-sex marriage. In June of 2012, Cathy told a radio host that America was “inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, ‘We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage.’ I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about.”
Cathy reaffirmed those sentiments in subsequent interviews.
So Rider explained in campus-wide email that it would not be installing a Chick-fil-A on campus out of respect for the school’s LGBTQ students. This is what prompted Newman to act.
“As some of you already know, I am a committed follower of Jesus Christ,” she announced, as first reported by Campus Reform. “As such, I endeavor every day to do exactly what Chick-fil-A puts forward as its overarching corporate value: to glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to me and to have a positive influence on all who come into contact with me.”
Newman resigned as Dean, though she will stay on as a professor.
“While we respect Dr. Newman’s personal decision,” said Kristine Brown, Rider’s associate vice president of marketing and communications according to NJ.com, “we maintain that the decision about choosing an on-campus restaurant franchise was in no way a judgment on religious values. Rather, our intention was to foster a sense of respect and belonging of all members of the campus community, including those who identify as LGBTQ+.”