Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Stanford Student, Dorm-Resident Was an Imposter

An eighteen-year-old Orange County girl, no doubt inspired by lesser Jack Black films, didn't get in to Stanford during last year's application season. But she didn't let trifles like that stop her from receiving a top-notch education:
[Azia] Kim . . . lived in Kimball throughout fall and winter quarter. She lived in Okada, the Asian-American theme dorm, until Monday night, when University staff finally caught onto her ruse.

Friends aren’t sure of her motive for sneaking onto campus and living a lie, but many speculate that she felt pressure from overbearing parents to attend Stanford — regardless of whether she was admitted.

. . . .

Kim had neither a Stanford ID nor a key, forcing her to sneak into meals and enter her room through its window, which overlooked the Munger construction pit, the Wilbur parking lot and a dumpster, three feet off the ground. ["Roommate" Amy] Zhou never noticed, as she spent nearly all her nights in her boyfriend’s room.

. . . .

Last Sunday, Okada RA Soo Kim ‘08 triggered the beginning of the end at the weekly staff meeting. An Otero RA told her that Azia Kim had claimed to live in Otero. Soo Kim was suspicious and emailed Housing on Monday. Only then — eight months after Azia Kim first moved into Kimball — did the authorities finally realize what had happened.

“It’s kind of crazy that it was under our radar for so long,” said Soo Kim. “I couldn’t even imagine a squatter situation. That was never anything that I was conscious of.”

It took Zhou even longer to find out the truth — she said that Azia Kim broke into her email account and permanently deleted emails from Housing that explained the situation. Kim even replied to Housing, imitating her roommate in an email that Zhou provided The Daily:

“Hey Edith,

Actually, Azia doesn’t stay here permanently, she just stays occasionally when she stays late. Sorry, I apologize for any confusions.

Link (thanks, Clayton). The AP also reports.

We've come into possession of several new pieces of information, which may or may not be true:
  1. Kim managed to procure a student ID with her name and picture on it because she had been assigned a number upon applying to Stanford. She could have used this card to fool ordinary human guards into thinking she was a student, allowing her to access, for instance, the student fitness center. The magnetic stripe, however, did not have the information necessary to grant access to libraries or purchase meals at dining halls, which have computerized card readers.
  2. Kim was nevertheless able to eat meals at the residential dining halls because she found a back door through a kitchen and propped it open.
  3. The Stanford Daily reports that Kim, using a forged Stanford transcript joined the ROTC at Santa Clara University, an group that admits Stanford students because Stanford does not have its own branch of the ROTC. While there she received $1350 worth of military equipment.
  4. The Daily also reports on a second "imposter" found attending classes and inhabiting offices as a graduate physics student without actually being affiliated with the University.
  5. Inquiring minds in the comments to the previous article want to know how this connects to the mysterious XXX XXXXX.
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Blogger Marisa said...

I work in Edith's position, except at Gov Co (woo woo, west side), so this story hit a little close to home.
What kind of person can keep up a facade like that for 8 months?
If you want any of the dirty details that didn't make it to press, just let me know ;)

6:03 PM  
Blogger The Good Reverend said...

Woohoo, do tell.

7:11 AM  
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