Chick-fil-A debate forces inclusion conversation into spotlight

Anthony Sutton


Your SDSU Students’ Association is a group of people elected to represent you, and recently they debated two resolutions to determine whether Chick-fil-A is welcome on our campus.The funny thing about these resolutions, however, is that they essentially say the same thing.

One of the resolutions states that, “the SDSU Students’ Association strives to increase the inclusiveness for all students of SDSU.”  The other states that the, “SDSU Students’ Association reinforces our commitment to addressing issues facing members of the LGBT community on SDSU’s campus.”

If the goal of each of these resolutions is to make SDSU a more inclusive campus, then why wouldn’t the Students’ Association not just have one resolution? The answer is that SDSU is beginning to have difficult conversations that were simply ignored in decades past.

Conversations regarding inclusive communities are new to many universities, and they are certainly new to most students as well. Many of us grew up in communities where we knew very little about the world except for what we saw and heard. That is why when an issue like Chick-fil-A’s support of the WinShape Foundation becomes a part of our daily conversations, we are faced with the difficult task of trying to understand something new. America is a country firmly rooted in free speech and equal protection under the law.  Because of that, as well as because of the thorough vetting process Chick-fil-A went through, I believe no person(s) will face direct discrimination due to Chick-fil-A operating in the Student Union.  Moreover, what Chick-fil-A’s presence in the Student Union does mean, should be part of our ongoing conversation about diversity.

This issue brings to the forefront the importance of understanding and recognizing that a community, much like a quilt, consists of many different parts. Without these important parts, the quilt, like our community, is not whole. By recognizing the true value of inclusion, we can seize the opportunity to foster growth and develop a culture of empathy on our campus.  In doing this, we will begin to ensure that all people are truly welcome to SDSU. So now, I leave it to you to take advantage of this situation by talking about your own values and bringing those values back to the larger conversation on diversity and inclusion. Only by doing that can we all work together to make SDSU a better and more inclusive place.

Anthony Sutton is a senior majoring in political science and history. He previously served as vice president of SA. His email is