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Florida Gulf Coast Univ. Student Senate rejects KFC

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FGCU Student Senate rejects KFC

By Dave Breitenstein

dbreitenstein@news- press.com 

January 30, 2008

The Colonel won't be hauling a bucket of finger-lickin' fried chicken to FGCU anytime soon.

Florida Gulf Coast University's Student Senate approved a resolution Tuesday stating KFC isn't welcome on campus because of its "inhumane raise and slaughter of over 850 million chickens a year" and its role as an "unhealthy fast-food choice due to the high fat, cholesterol and calorie content" of its menu items.

KFC doesn't operate a restaurant at FGCU, and that's how junior Regina Bale wants it.

"The intent is not to have KFC on campus due to their horrible treatment of animals," said Bale, 22, president of FGCU's Power of One chapter. "We don't need it at this university.

Power of One collected 535 signatures on its petition, the first college in the nation to ban the chicken chain, according to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. However, the Student Senate doesn't have the authority to approve or deny restaurant franchises; that falls to FGCU's administration and dining services manager, Aramark.

"It's a moot point because we don't have them on campus or plan to talk with them," said FGCU chief of staff Susan Evans.

There are six KFC locations within 15 miles of campus, though, and PETA spokeswoman Lindsay Rajt said students could take their message about "Kentucky Fried Cruelty" beyond a campus protest.

"Americans are compassionate and don't like to see animals suffer," Rajt said.

KFC maintains an Animal Welfare Advisory Council that addresses how chickens make their way from independent farms to restaurants. A statement from its animal welfare program reads: "Yum! Brands and KFC believe treating animals humanely and with care is a key part of our quality assurance efforts. ... Our goal is to only deal with suppliers who provide an environment that is free from cruelty, abuse and neglect."

Taco Bell, which falls under the same Yum! Brands corporate umbrella as KFC, has a restaurant at FGCU, but there is no quest to roll up Taco Bell's welcome mat. Subway, Starbucks and Einstein Bros. Bagels also have locations on campus.

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