SFSU President Leslie Wong Bans School-Funded Travel To Indiana

SFSU President Leslie E. Wong recently banned all school-funded travel to Indiana in condemnation of its enactment of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which protects businesses for legally refusing service to LGBT individuals because of religious reasons.

Wong’s new university restrictions extend to employees and students using SFSU funds “from any source – general funds or auxiliary” to travel to Indiana, as reported by Tyler Kingkade of The Huffington Post. Wong himself will be skipping an important NCAA meeting in Indianapolis this month as part of his plans to boycott the State of Indiana. Wong said in a statement,

I am dismayed, if not extremely disappointed, in the recent legislation signed into law in Indiana. It is unconscionable for this great University to spend its resources in a state that attempts to legislate discrimination of any kind.

By this note, I am informing the campus community that no San Francisco State University funds from any source -- general funds or auxiliary -- will be used to support employee or student travel to Indiana. This action is effective today, Monday, March 30, 2015 until further notice. Any travel authorized prior to today may proceed as planned with approval of the appropriate vice president.

We are researching similar legislation reputed to be existent in other states to determine further action.
As a member of the NCAA Division II President’s Council, I will not attend a required meeting of the Council to be held in April in Indianapolis. A copy of this note is being sent to NCAA President Mark Emmert and to CSU Chancellor Timothy White.

Our commitment to social justice on this campus remains a point of pride for me. The vice presidents, deans and Academic Senate's Executive Committee all endorse this action.

SFSU is not the only California institution boycotting Indiana. The cities and county of San Francisco, Oakland, and Berkley have also forbidden their employees from traveling to Indiana. Multiple California organizations including Levi Strauss, Gap, Salesforce, Apple, Twitter, Yelp, Square, Cloudera, and Box, have publicly condemned Indiana’s law protecting religious freedom.

UCLA’s LGBT alumni association called for a UCLA boycott of Indiana just last week, pushing for the same restrictions of students and employees employed at SFSU to uphold at UCLA. UCLA said that it was pleased with the association’s proposal, as the university thinks it “explicitly prohibits discrimination.” The University of California, however, has no authority to restrict travel for anyone, said a spokesperson for the UC.