UNK administration: Student surveys show preferences; on to next phase

KEARNEY – University of Nebraska at Kearney administration today announced it is moving forward with student-identified restaurants and beginning preliminary negotiations with those interested in locating in the Nebraskan Student Union.

Those moving forward will be Chick-fil-A, Raising Canes, Panda Express, IHOP, A&W, sbarro, and Johnny Rockets. These restaurants are allowed in the Union under the university’s agreement with its food services contractor Chartwells, and were preferred by students.

Student Government in recent weeks met with UNK Business Services to identify ways to improve the Nebraskan, including recommending new restaurant options. Students indicated they prefer a name-brand, popular restaurant franchise, along with other improved amenities and access in the Nebraskan.

After two Student Government opinion surveys, administration will now take those top poll preferences to determine interest and financial viability for the student-preferred restaurants.

Student Government will be kept informed of the business-viability determination and negotiation process.

“There has been a lot of dialogue and discussion about restaurants and options over the past weeks, along with a lot of emotional debate, much of which is outside the realm of the intent of the polling,” said Kelly Bartling, UNK assistant vice chancellor for communication and community relations.

“The primary consideration, after obtaining student feedback, is to look at the business end: market potential and needs for these corporations, renovation costs, and ultimately what is feasible financially. This is what the administration is doing now.”


Source 1: Kelly Bartling, Assistant vice chancellor for communication and community relations, 308.865.8455, bartlingkh@unk.edu
Source 2: Todd Gottula, Director of Communications, 308.865.8454, gottulatm@unk.edu




11 thoughts on “UNK administration: Student surveys show preferences; on to next phase

  1. I have not kept up with this at all. But I think that forward-thinking adults and young adults are interested in locally-grown and home-madey foods. I am an old adult and that how I spend my food dollars and buying power. I graduated from KSC in 1965, and at 71 years of age, I buy almost 100% from an organic cooperative grocery in Lincoln. That is the kind of food (and our local organic farmers are the kind of farmers) that I support. Isn’t there a local food company that would also like to supply food to the students?

  2. Indeed, I have heard only “one side of the story” regarding the Chic fil a issue. Basically that a minority group made such a “fuss” over Chic fil a’s stand on gay marriage, that the powers to be decided Chic fil a would not be among those food franchises chosen at the new U of K expansion. If this is true, that would seem a travesty of justice. I believe I can safely say that a decision such as this would not only be wrong, but it would seriously affect alumni donations for the future.

    Verlin Janssen, class of ’69

  3. Thank you for the professional way you have handled this. I’m glad the majority was listened to. I’m personally very tired of political correctness!! Thanks!! Paul Stec

  4. Are we now catering to students instead of giving them an education. If students wish to have a specific kind of food, then go downtown and get it. Canteen machines were good for me in the 70’s. Cafeteria’s work well. Sadly, most want fast food. If your decision is to support an implant food distribution company, then charge to students through general fees for this service.

  5. To hell with these so called special interest groups, be what you want to be but stop screwing with the rest of us. if they don’t like it here in Nebraska and the U.S. Leave soon.

  6. It is immaterial to me what was voted. The concern is Chick-fil-a discriminates based on sexual orientation. Many businesses and government entities don’t allow such discrimination; therefore since it is a matter of basic LGBT rights I condemn UNK for allowing them on campus. “What the students want” is no defense. LGBT rights trumps what the students want in this case. Larry L. Artz class of 1967

    1. Chick -fil-a is delicious! It was their when I was going to school at U.N.K. 20 years ago. It is practically part of the establishment I seriously doubt that Chick-fil-a cares one way or the other about LGBT, and I am sure the discrimination is overblown. Eat more chiken – yum!

  7. I posted this comment (below) on the initial article on this website mentioning this issue dated 2/19/16. I am glad that the School Admin decided to move forward with the majority vote on the restaurant choices after all. It was the prudent decision in light of the attempt by the minority objectors’ attempt to turn this into a political issue…

    My first reaction was “C’mon, people! It’s just food! The survey was asking what students wanted to eat! And for the University Student Council leadership (along with Faculty leadership as well, for that matter) to cave in to a minority voice, which chose to take this to a political arena, it’s absolutely ridiculous! To say that you are promoting tolerance on campus by reversing the majority vote to essentially a minority objection, not to the food, mind you, but to their feeling disrespected by the personal views of the president of the company on marriage… That’s absurd! I can maybe understand if you are vegetarian or somehow have personal objection to chicken, but to make this an issue over political view on marriage?? Please!! The majority of the students wanted to eat Chick-Fil-A! That’s all that it was about!! Instead of teaching tolerance, you have instead just promoted INTOLERANCE AND HYPOCRISY! In trying to appease a minority voice (who started the whole issue to begin with), you succeeded in offending the majority by taking away their voice. You are not forcing people to eat against their will. If someone doesn’t like a certain restaurant, go somewhere else to eat!! That’s called life. That’s what happens in life after college. Be glad that America is so blessed that you even have choices! And stop trying to take away choices for others just because some people disagree with you!!!

  8. The answer to this question should make your “difficult” decision easier: Would UNK allow a company that doesn’t hire people of color, or people with physical disabilities, or people from small towns, or people from big towns to rent space in the union? Doing what you believe to be the right thing should always truma a leaders concern for popularity or financial gain. Just do what you know to be the right thing and let the chips fall as they may. Difficult made easy!

  9. As an alumnus I felt compelled to comment. Thanks to the administration for not overreacting to a vocal minority. We don’t need a tyranny of political correctness dictating every facet of student life. I would ask critics to consider a couple of thoughts. First, Chic-fil-a does not discriminate. The CEO merely exercised his constitutional right to express his personal opinion. Second, if UNK were to make a decision to exclude Chic-fil-a based on the concerns of a minority of students, then I can make a case to ban Starbucks from campus. Ahhhhh yes Starbucks! The CEO has made some disparaging comments about Christians that I would assume a majority of students at UNK find offensive. Neither corporation knowingly discriminates against customers nor employees as far as I can tell. From my experience of patronizing both, I have been impressed with the quality of their products and their level of customer service.

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