Hiatus filler: Impostor II


Amit Arora and Daniel Novinson of the Stanford Daily have written a follow up to their original story of the `Stanford Impostor,’ a high school student who spent a year living in Stanford dormitories pretending to be a student. In their follow up they highlight an individual who has been sleeping in the physics department posing as a visiting researcher. The Stanford News Service  has published this press release regarding university action.

Like the original article, this one has produced some interesting commentary. (e.g. “I’m beginning to wonder if there are any legit Stanford students at all.”) Some commenters have suggested that since no harm was done, it’s wrong to `evict’ the individual. In the same vein, other comments suggest that Stanford students live an especially privileged life; hence the response to these `impostors’ is a realization of elitist snobbery. On the other hand, other commenters have countered by saying that if the person squatting in the department had been a “large black male” instead of an Asian woman then the police would have removed the individual long ago. Commenter “A Berkeley Grad Student” offers, what I think is the most sensible statement, saying that the main issue has nothing to do with race or privilege, but rather with professionalism in a place of work. S/He suggests that one “tries hanging out at a fire department, police station, or private corporation” to see what happens.
As much as I’d like to go on about this, I’ll decline to offer too much of my own thoughts given the ongoing university investigation. For this reason I’ll leave the story at what is published.


4 Responses to “Hiatus filler: Impostor II”

  1. I am surprised not to hear of any romantic stories of ‘squaters’ producing original results of any significance. It seems that the eccentric genious would surface in this arena. Oh well, there goes my fantasy of squatting at some foreign university and scribbling unified field equations on the blackboards overnight!

  2. 2 evankeane

    you can just live in universities – what a rent saver … hmmm

  3. One more update:

    Sam Bagwhat has written about squatters at other well known American universities:


  4. This is now old news, but I thought this link would be relevant:

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