Friday, May 25, 2007

Impostor allegedly lived at Stanford

A young Orange County woman is said to have passed herself off as a student and lived in campus dormitories for eight months.
From the Associated Press

May 25, 2007

PALO ALTO, CALIF. — Stanford University officials said Thursday they were investigating claims that a young Orange County woman passed herself off as a student, talked her way into several dormitories and lived on campus for eight months.

The university would not disclose the woman's name or the circumstances surrounding her alleged ruse, but the school's student newspaper identified her as Azia Kim, 18, a graduate of Troy High School in Fullerton.

"We consider these allegations, if confirmed, to be a serious breach of security within the residence halls," Greg Boardman, Stanford's vice provost for student affairs, said in a statement. "We are conducting a full investigation into what occurred and how security can be improved."

The Stanford Daily, quoting one of Kim's former roommates, said the deception started in September, the day before Stanford's orientation for new students.

Two sophomores agreed to let Kim stay in their room after she told them she did not like the roommate she had been assigned.

During the fall and winter terms, Kim allegedly slept in the other women's room or the lounge of the 210-resident dorm. Last month, she moved into another dorm after being referred to another student who needed a roommate.

Residence hall associates became suspicious after comparing conflicting statements Kim allegedly gave and contacting the student housing office. Kim was confronted Monday and escorted from campus, according to the Stanford Daily.

Amy Zhou, Kim's roommate in the second dorm, said Kim apparently got into the room through the window because she never had a key.

Kim told other students she was a sophomore majoring in human biology and bought textbooks and studied with friends.

"Personally, I don't feel safe now that Stanford allowed this to happen and that they're not doing anything to ensure the safety of their students," Zhou said. "I think something's definitely wrong with the system if this could happen."

Part of the investigation by campus police and administrators is focused on finding out whether Kim took classes, ate meals in the dorm cafeteria or availed herself of other services, said Elaine Ray, a Stanford spokeswoman.

Stanford plans to forward evidence in the case to Santa Clara County prosecutors, who would determine whether to pursue criminal charges.

Kim's whereabouts and contacts for her family could not be immediately determined Thursday.