Spectrum | Dec. 17 11:37 pm EST
fresh scandal

Campus Impostor 2.0: Fake student at Columbia Law School

Yesterday morning, Above The Law, a website that reports news on law firms and law schools, broke the news that a fake student had infiltrated Columbia Law School. The student, going by the name of Jose Olivo, attended numerous Columbia events and parties earlier this semester, and always introduced himself as a 1L. The problem? No one had ever seen Jose Olivo in an actual class.

If this sounds familiar, you’re probably thinking of Rhea Sen (aka Birva Patel), who posed as a Columbia undergraduate for several months before being caught and arrested for criminal trespass in September 2012.

While Patel was caught after her suspicious behavior during NSOP 2012, Olivo’s ruse lasted until well into this semester. According to Above The Law, a group of students, each from a different 1L section, realized that none of them had ever seen Olivo in class. Concerned, they took the matter to administrators and discovered that no one by the name of Jose Olivo was—or had ever been—registered at the Law School.

Above the Law reported that a Law School spokesperson confirmed Olivo is not a registered student and said Public Safety is investigating the matter.

Olivo also claimed that he was a 2013 Columbia College graduate and a Horace Mann alum. Both proved false.

How far has Olivo gone to maintain his assumed identity? Bwog reported that earlier this year, Olivo approached an actual CC ’13 grad and current Law School student, addressed him by name, and asked about last spring’s Commencement. Olivo apparently even attended the Commencement ceremony, walking in robes and posting pictures to his Facebook, according to Bwog.

Some of Olivo’s Facebook statuses—screenshots of which were posted by Bwog—made it appear he was living the life of a typical Columbia law student, with references to the libraries, finals, and a post announcing his acceptance to the Law School.

On another note, this incident, along with the Rhea Sen one, is alarming. Is it really that easy to infiltrate the Columbia student body?

Earlier, we tried to predict this semester’s scandal, but who knew it would be Season 2 for fake students: the Grad School Version.

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  1. syntax • December 18, 2013 at 8:35 am • Reply

    “the rhea sen one”…ouch.

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  2. mad creepy run-in • December 18, 2013 at 9:04 am • Reply

    116th train. i am 90% certain it was him now. told me he was CLS, his name’s jose (or something similar?), and struck up a convo with me, mostly about religion. as i was getting off at my stop, he asked if i wanted to join the church of scientology. i said no thanks and got off. whole thing just seemed mad creepy.

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  3. Anonymous • December 18, 2013 at 1:05 pm • Reply

    This why current legit IDs must be checked everywhere.

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    • CC 14 • December 18, 2013 at 2:25 pm • Reply

      no, thank you.

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    • Anonymous • December 18, 2013 at 2:33 pm • Reply

      ^ Columbia University in the Sheltered Bubble of New York

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  4. Doge • December 25, 2013 at 10:38 pm • Reply

    Very columbia. What fake. Much he.

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