A 27-year-old man named Abe Liu was escorted out of Harvard’s Weld Hall last week after pretending to be a member of Harvard’s freshman class for months, the Harvard Crimson reported Wednesday.
Liu, a student at Harvard’s Extension school, reportedly attended North Carolina State but dropped out. He joined Harvard’s Class of 2015 Facebook group this past summer, and began interacting with students and creating a false persona for himself.
The Harvard Independent first broke the story in a article published online on Tuesday evening. The Independent’s story adds that Harvard’s freshman class was alerted to Liu’s situation on Sunday afternoon via a student-created meme featuring the “Y U NO” Guy asking Liu, “Y U NO WHO U SAY WHO U ARE?”
The Independent claimed Liu had on occasion told students he was a former Olympian, but he told the paper in a Tuesday evening interview that their facts “were entirely incorrect.”
In addition to publishing the story about Liu, the Independent’s story calls into question why the Crimson had not yet run a story about Liu. In a follow-up article today, the Independent quotes Liu as claiming that he had personally convinced the Crimson‘s managing editor, Elias Groll ’12, not to run the story although the Crimson had been working on it for a week.
The Independent has claimed that Liu participated in the Crimson’s induction rituals, but Liu has denied this claim. The Crimson published their story one day after the Independent released their version.
He has admitted to forging a Harvard ID, but denies stealing another student’s ID.
From Liu’s interview with the Crimson:
“The first lie is like, ‘Oh, I’m a student at the College.’ They always want to know more, so you start telling a lot of little white lies. And then you find yourself integrated into that society.”
“You get so deep, you don’t know how to stop it.”
“I made a mistake. My mistake was being lonely.”
“At the end of the day, all I wanted to do was to be friends. The people that met me, the people that knew me, know that I never asked them for anything. I never coerced them into anything.”
Liu’s Facebook account is now unsearchable, and his posts on the Class of 2015 Facebook group are gone.