Watch the video below to see why Cynthia Newman resigned.
Video credit: CampusReform
Chick-fil-A is one of the most popular fast food restaurants in the United States. Which is why Rider University students voted to bring Chick-fil-A into their New Jersey campus. However, university officials blocked the proposal because of the chain’s supposed “opposition to the LGBTQ+ community.”
Cynthia Newman, who was dean of the College of Business at the time, said it was more than just about denying the students’ desire for waffle fries and chicken sandwiches. It seemed to her that the university was denouncing Chick-fil-A’s corporate values, the same faith, and values that she herself holds.
“I felt like I had been punched in the stomach when I read that statement,” Newman told Campus Reform.“I’m a very committed Christian and Chick-fil-A’s values — their corporate purpose statement is to glorify God and to be faithful stewards of all that is entrusted to them and to have a positive influence on everyone who comes into contact with them — and I would say that that mirrors my personal beliefs perfectly.
And so I really felt it very personally.”
But she is not the type of person who wants to create a ruckus so she contacted university officials privately asking if they would make an apology for the offense created in their initial email.
Yet instead of listening to her, they dug their heels on the ban and issued another campus-wide email that included talking points about inclusion.
For Newman, that was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
Because of her Christian faith and values, she couldn’t support the university “in good conscience” especially when their ban implied that people who hold values similar to Chick-fil-A’s were not responsible citizens.
After weeks of deliberation, Newman tendered her resignation on February 14.
But what surprised her was the support she received from faculty and staff for showing that “no one group’s opinions, values, beliefs, should be elevated over anyone’s else’s…we should be able to respectfully disagree…we shouldn’t be putting down one person’s values because they don’t align with our personal values.”
“You’re the one who has to live in the world that’s around you,” she said, “and so if you feel something is not right in that world, you have an obligation to stand up and to say what your perspective is on that.”
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