Cars were wrapped around Chick-fil-A in Stuart, Fla., as part of a national fan-based Appreciation Day on Aug. 1, 2012 (WND photo / Joe Kovacs)

When a college asked its students which restaurants they would like to see on campus, it apparently did not expect Chick-fil-A to be the top choice.

Now, Rider University in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, is having to explain why it’s refusing to host the popular fast-food chain.

In a Nov. 1 letter sent to its students and obtained by Campus Reform, the school said Chick-fil-A is being excluded because “their corporate values have not sufficiently progressed enough to align with those of Rider.”

It explained the decision was part of an effort to “promote … inclusion for all people.”

Jan Friedman-Krupnick, Rider’s assistant vice president of student affairs, told Campus Reform, “It is important to me and to the university that all voices are heard.”

“There are a number of factors that contribute to a campus’ decision to invite a retail partner on campus. While Chick-fil-A is among other restaurants preferenced by Rider students, there are members of the community (faculty, staff, and students) who strongly opposed the option as well.”

Julia Pickett, president of Rider’s Young Americans for Liberty chapter, told CR: “I don’t think it is fair, however, because Rider is a private college, ultimately the decision is their own.”

Regarding the company’s values precluding the presence of Chick-fil-A, she noted, “They sell chicken, so as far as I am concerned that should be the focus.”

“If people didn’t want to buy their food then they don’t have to,” she added. “I think that the administration of Rider felt that having Chick-fil-A on campus would cause unwanted controversy and felt that the easiest fix was to find another restaurant. I wish they would be honest about it though instead of trying to cover it as a deep offense to the school.”

RELATED: Americans flock to support Chick-fil-A

As WND reported in 2012, Americans flocked to Chick-fil-A restaurants across the country on Aug. 1 in a national show of support for the eatery after the company’s president publicly stated his support for the biblical definition of marriage between one man and one woman.

Robin Minichino of Stuart, Fla., was proud to show her support for Chick-fil-A on Aug. 1, 2012 (WND photo / Joe Kovacs)

Robin Minichino of Stuart, Florida, was eating lunch with some friends from her Grace Place Church, and told WND at the time, “I’m a Christian and I believe in the Christian values and this is just an awesome, amazing thing. I’m so proud to see so many people out here today supporting [Chick-fil-A]. The people in there are so accommodating. They’re helping out. Even the patrons are so kind enough to share tables with other people because it’s so packed in there, you can’t find a seat.”

Some 600,000 people had signed up to celebrate Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day, which former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee created to counter a boycott launched by same-sex marriage activists after Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy said he was “guilty as charged” for not supporting homosexual marriage.

A Chick-fil-A franchise in Stuart, Fla., was packed on Aug. 1, 2012. (WND photo / Joe Kovacs)

“The goal is simple,” Huckabee wrote on Facebook. “Let’s affirm a business that operates on Christian principles and whose executives are willing to take a stand for the godly values we espouse by simply showing up and eating at Chick fil-A on Wednesday, August 1.”

For its part, the company distanced itself from any connection with what has become known as Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day, as Donald Perry, vice president of corporate public relations said: “We do not have any affiliation with Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day. It is a fan-based promotion. However, we appreciate all of our customers, no matter their reason for visiting our restaurant and are glad to serve them at any time.”

Extra Chick-fil-A attendants took orders from customers waiting in long lines of cars in Stuart, Fla. on Aug. 1, 2012 (WND photo / Joe Kovacs)

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