Grad Student Reema Asia Comments on President Leslie Wong's Tenure at SF State

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

SF BAY -- Wong’s resignation comes amid a year in which he had been heavily criticized by students and faculty at SF State. Last year, SF State and Wong were named in two lawsuits, one alleging the school and Wong of fostering a climate of anti-Semitism; the other, alleging unlawful discrimination, harassment, retaliation and defamation.

For Reema Asia, an English Literature graduate student, Leslie Wong’s subsequent handling and response to both lawsuits were controversial. Asia referred to an email issued by Leslie Wong earlier this year in which he said Zionists are welcome on campus, a statement which itself originated after he was criticized for refusing to state that Zionists were welcome on campus in an interview with J-Weekly in 2017.

Asia said: “[Leslie Wong] pretty much equated anti-Zionism to anti-Semitism, and he said that Zionism is something that SF State welcomes on campus. As someone who is Palestinian, who deals with the violence of Zionism it just seemed like the most absurd thing to come out of the mouth of a president of a university.”