Asian American Studies Graduate Program(SFSU)

Applying to the Grad Program as an African American Man

Youtube video about racism from SFSU Asian American Studies Department uploaded…


The phone call…and the reopening of the case…

At 11:19am, on Feb 6th, I received a phone call from Sarah (or “Sara”) Berman who wanted to ask me about my survey and answer any questions about my – at the time – closed case. I believe I was told it was going to be reopened, especially since there wasn’t a reason why it should have been closed in the first place.

Miss Berman also said I actually could go up to the OCR San Francisco office; I would have to just let the security guards call up beforehand.

A few days later I would receive a letter from Arthur Zeidman, of OCR San Francisco, stating in letter form that my case was reopened. It was interesting to me that this particular letter seemed to actually be written, and personalized…unlike previous letters, which weren’t really proofread and were (as aforementioned in other posts) inaccurate, or had false information.

With all that said, I plan on posting the “timeline” given to me by Eugene Chelberg, who supposedly investigated the racist interactions with the Asian American Studies department. After reading it a few days ago, once again, there is obviously a lot left; many things  that I was either told or was done and was not addressed when I received the final letter from Chelberg.

Once I post his timeline (which is actually already posted) I will juxtapose it with my own timeline, with dates of emails, and who said what, in order to (paraphrasing Connery from the film “Marnie”) get some facts from this mountain of manure.

Oh! Here is the Letter from OCR San Francisco….

Email sent to OCR San Francisco, and OCR Washington – 2/5/2013

Today I went personally to 50 Beale Street to see if I could talk with someone in person. However, I learned from the security guards (from Allied/Barton Security, I believe) that Department of Education/Office of Civil Rights doesn’t take walk-ins; they suggested calling. However, I told them that OCR doesn’t really answer their phones either.

This visit took place around 12:04pm.

About three months ago, I got an email from Michael Hing saying I would “shortly” get a reply on my request for reconsideration of my case, since it was “formally closed.” I, of course, was still wondering why it was closed, since I wasn’t given a clear answer. (According to OCR San Francisco, whom I had negative dealings in regards to them being truthful about information, they say I submitted my complaint in an untimely manner….yet, my complaint – against San Francisco State University’s Asian American Studies Department – was submitted within the same month I received their – SFSU’s – decision on my complaint…since, previously, I understood I had to go through the school’s judicial system before it is submitted to OCR. This has been done with my previous complaint with Cogswell College, as well as UC Santa Cruz; I don’t see why things would suddenly be changed here). Three months later, I am still waiting…and no reply or update on my case.

Sidenote: I like to always mention that OCR San Francisco, in their correspondence with me on the UC Santa Cruz case, claims to have met with me in person. However, I was in Singapore at the time, so there was no way they would have “met” with me….in terms of time difference, even via Skype, and even in terms of schedules. Indeed, I am still waiting on their explanation for that lie.

Now, I am considering doing a video blog (vlog) on Youtube where I explain my experiences with SFSU’s discrimination as well as OCR San Francisco’s treatment of the matter. Still, I am going to forward my current blog to OCR Washington, and hope that I can get a clear reply on where my complaint is….i.e. tell me what is going on.


Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Email to Michael Hing and OCR San Francisco on 2/5/2013

(This was sent at 2:54am)

Mr. Hing:

It has nearly been three months since our last correspondence.

Looking through the OCR Complaint Processing Procedures, I noticed reply timeframe’s for those who are filing complaints, but no timeframes for responses from OCR. However, I have no idea where my complaint is at this moment, and, as aforementioned in my emails….there wasn’t a clear reason why my complaint against SFSU (San Francisco State University) was “formally closed.”

Do you think I should forward my complaint to the Washington D.C. office?

I look forward to your response.

Survey sent to me from OCR San Francisco on 2/4/3013…

An OCR survey….I answered to, accordingly…

(Of course, I’m still waiting on that letter based on my inquiry on November 14th, 2012 answering why they closed the complaint if it was filed in a timely manner).

November 14th email reply from Michael Hing, OCR San Francisco

Mr. Kirk:

OCR has received your e-mail concerning the above referenced case. While the case is formally closed, your e-mail has been treated as a request for reconsideration and will be considered as part of OCR’s appeal / reconsideration process; you should be receiving a letter from OCR shortly acknowledging receipt of your request for reconsideration. A response to your request should be issued to you shortly thereafter.


Michael S. Hing

November 14th email to OCR San Francisco

Can I get a receipt that the phone call and the emails were received? Also, could I get an update on what is occurring with my case? Is it remaining closed? (If so, why?) Or is it going to be reopened? Is it in an appeal process? What?

–Joel K.

November 11th email to OCR San Francisco


As stated in the title of this email, I am following up with my phone call around 5:16pm concerning case no. 09-13-2021, and my two emails dated November 8th, asking why exactly was my complaint against the San Francisco State University Asian American Studies department was dismissed. OCR San Francisco’s reason was that “I contacted the police” on April 6th, which doesn’t make sense since 1. Why would I contact the police to file a report on myself, as well as have the police run a background check, gun check, etc…on myself. 2. This matter with SFSU (San Francisco State University) ended around Oct 22nd, 23rd….since I went through their judicial individual, Eugene Chelberg, who found no discrimination on how I was treated. And, since the matter ended last month, how is OCR San Francisco determining that I am NOT within the 180 day period? (Claiming the falsehood,”I contacted the police,” that doesn’t make any sense, doesn’t cut it).

As explained in the phone call, OCR San Francisco has done this kind of thing before, where a falsehood has been perpetuated on their part. In case no. 09-11-2247, it was claimed that they “conducted interviews with the complainant”….i.e. me…in regards to the matter I complained about. However, 1. OCR would have had to travel to Singapore to interview me, since I was studying abroad at that time. 2. Did we interview by Skype? Phone? (I surely wouldn’t be paying any long distance charges, considering the distance as well as the time we would be on the phone). 3. There is a time difference since I was in another country.

I will be awaiting OCR San Francisco’s reply, since it seems that “facts” are being concocted/created…or to put it another way: lies on OCR San Francisco’s part, are being perpetuated.

Thank you for your attention on this matter,

Joel B. Kirk

Applying to a program with USC

I am currently applying to graduate program with USC.

I did mention that I am a potential black student, and that higher education was important to me…etc…etc..etc…

Definitely a better, and helpful service than what I received with SFSU’s Asian American Studies program; no rudeness, or calling the police because I inquire about how many black students in the program, etc. USC even managed to get a fee waiver for me; SFSU Asian American Studies, particularly Allyson Tintiangco-Cubales, the AAS admissions rep, would blame me for delayed documents and wouldn’t be receptive to questions.

What exactly happened on April 6th?

Since OCR incorrectly says, in their denial letter, that I contacted the police on April 6th, I went back to my emails and decided to see who exactly contacted whom…and for what reason. (Obviously I wouldn’t contact the police to run a background and gun check on myself, that would be pretty stupid).


April 6th would be the day my rights would be violated, by “Officer” Zachary Donohue. At 10:51am, I would receive this email:

Mr. Kirk,

I am SFSU Police Officer and would like to speak to you about a informational case.  Please give me a call at the SFSU Police Department at 415 338 2222, please ask the on duty dispatcher to transfer you to me.

Officer Donohue

As aforementioned in a previous post, I didn’t have to return the call….or, if I did call….I didn’t have to answer any questions. I could have asked “Am I under arrest?” and go about my business. However, at 12:01pm, I emailed back “Officer Donohue”…Lorraine Dong…the Vice President of Student Affairs (Eugene Chelberg’s office), Becky Mou, and Allyson Tingtianco-Cubales:


I am following up with the phone call I had with Officer Donohue at 11:41am,  documenting events.

Apparently, the chair of the Asian American Studies department, Lorriane Dong, called the police on me and I received a voice mail today at around 10:38 as well as an email. Note: This is after I documented I was filing a grievance for the attitudes I received as an African American applicant to the SFSU Asian American Studies program.

Miss Dong believed that I was coming down to the school today to learn about the program.

I’m sorry, but if Miss Dong (as well as others) read the email, I said I would like to make arrangements. I did not say I would come down today to speak with anyone. I had a meeting with the African American Resource Center at UC Santa Cruz (my school) and I’m tired after a long week. However, Miss Dong’s actions just supports the disgusting, racist problem I see with the Asian American Studies.

In our phone call, I told Officer Donohue that I, like many other potential students (grad and undergrad) visit schools or contact individuals in order to get the climate of the campus. Of course, I wanted to know about grad students…specifically black students(if any)…who may have taken the Asian American Studies grad program.

I also told him I am awaiting to hear the response from the Vice President of Student Affairs next week, and depending on their answer…I will be filing a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights…and documenting all this online in a blog.

I am so sickened to have to go through this bigotry.

Some contacts at UC Santa Cruz Officer Donohue may want to contact:

Alma Sifuentes (who I am copying)…the Dean of Student Affairs

Dr. Marla Wyche-Hall, the head of African American Resource Center:

Officer Nader Oweis, Chief of Police, UCSC:

On that same day, I was contacted by Kenneth Monteiro, who sent me this email:

Dear Mr. Kirk

I am contacting you because I understand you wish to make a complaint about your application to one of the programs in the college of which I am the Dean. I also understand you are in contact with a number of my faculty,  some of whom may not be in a position to address your questions.  In order to expedite your request for inquiry, the issue should be referred to me directly.  So, I would appreciate your directing all of your future correspondence and communication relevant to the College and this process to me so that we can approach this is the most effective way possible.  

So, please contact my assistant, Ms. Aflonso, at the email address above or 41-5-3338=1694 so that she can make an appointment for us at the earliest possible date and time that fits our mutual schedules so that you can inform me of your situation. I look forward to speaking with you and addressing your questions or concerns.

Thanking you in advance for your consideration.


Kenneth P. Monteiro


Kenneth P. Monteiro, Dean, College of Ethnic Studies 

San Francisco State University


“Educating and liberating minds… since 1969”

Me (emailing Monteiro’s assistant):

Hello Miss Alfonso-

I would like to make an appointment to speak to Mr. Monteiro next week at 2:30pm. Is that spot available?

–Joel K.


I should add, too, I am a student. Therefore, my minutes on my phone are not endless.

If there is a possiblity we can talk on skype that would be beneficial as well.

–Joel K.

Rosalie Alfonso:
Hello Mr. Kirk,

The next available 2:30 time slot is Monday, April 16th.

Let me know if this works into your schedule.

Rosalie Alfonso, Assistant to the Dean

College of Ethnic Studies

San Francisco State University

1600 Holloway Avenue

San Francisco, Ca 94132

(415) 33801694

Mr. Kirk

Thank you for the feedback. All the more reason that I am happy to work directly with you, giving you a single point of contact. My assistant will be back in contact with you directly, by email to set a time for the meeting. If it cannot be in person, we can arrange a Skype meeting.  Best, KPM



It will not be in person, because I will have to spend money, rent a car, and drive from UCSC to SFSU.

At this point, since the police has been called on me, and I am dealing with racist attitudes, I don’t wish to be on your campus right now. Nor do I wish to spend said money.

Yes, we can arrange a Skype meeting. Just give me the dates.

 –Joel K.

I was also contacted by Chelberg’s office, due to my complaint sent the previous day:

Dear Mr. Kirk,

The office of the Vice President for Student Affairs is in receipt of your emails regarding your concerns with your treatment within the Asian American Studies graduate program.  I have forwarded your email correspondence with Dr. Dong to the office of Mr. Eugene Chelberg, Associate Vice President for Student Affairs.  Mr. Chelberg serves as coordinator of the student grievance process and can be reached at or via telephone at (415) 338-2916. Please understand that Mr. Chelberg’s office may not be able to respond to the emails until Monday, April 9th.


Brian Sharber– 

Offices of the Vice President for Student Affairs and 

Dean of Students

San Franciso State University

1600 Holloway Avenue, SSB 401

San Francisco, CA 94132

(415) 338-2032 phone (415) 338-0900 fax