Conspiracy in the Chicken Coop: UIS and Chick-fil-A

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Conspiracy in the Chicken Coop: UIS and Chick-fil-A

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Chick-fil-A and its affiliation with UIS has been brought under suspicion after worrying news reached the community. A speedy investigation was launched to find out if the claim of a sponsorship of UIS Athletics was accurate.

Roy Brown, deputy director of athletics proved the contract theory wrong and stated, “Chick-fil-A does not have a signed contract with us (UIS Athletics).” However, Chick-fil-A was listed as a corporate partner on the official UIS Athletics webpage with Roy Brown’s name at the bottom. When asked about the listing, Brown said, “It appears we need to update our website.”

Chick-fil-A did have a sponsorship with UIS Athletics in 2016, which is public knowledge and available on the athletics website. However, the sponsorship recently found on the website was taken down after Brown had stated a needed update. This brings up questions to when the sponsorship ended and why. As of April 16, 2019 it was confirmed that Chick-fil-A is no longer listed as a corporate sponsor on the UIS Athletics webpage.

A few questions are still left unanswered. Chris Dettro, a staff writer of the Journal in 2012, documented Chick-fil- A’s previous attempt to implant a franchise on campus instead of Starbucks, going so far as being accepted by the university but rejected by the students. Could this previous rejection have led to Chick-fil-A being more incognito in their donations? It seems logical to believe that after this initial failure, the university would be very cautious in dealing with the subject of Chick-fil-A. This expectation proved true in the correspondence with Roy Brown.

Chick-fil-A frequently gives out free food at UIS sporting events. Another promotional tool of Chick-fil-A that has been brought to our attention are the “Be our guest” cards. These cards are meal vouchers and are given out as prizes to students, and sometimes even distributed to recipients of “Employee of the Month” nominations at Campus Recreation.

Though it is currently unclear the official affiliation between UIS and Chick-fil-A, one thing is certain: Chick-fil-A is a corporation well-known for donating almost $2 billion to anti-LGBTQIA+ organizations, such as the Fellowship of Christian Athletes which urged athletes in the organization to refrain from homosexual acts and issued a statement of faith condemning homosexual relationships.

The university has sought to distance itself from the organization and not only respected the students’ decision when Chick-fil-A was up for debate in 2012, Roy Brown and the Athletics department was also quick to remove all brand names of Chick-fil-A. However, there are students who are still confused about the relationship between the university and Chick-fil-A. This is an ongoing story and we will continue to report on it as new information becomes available.

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