September 10th, 2012 | University

26-year-old woman pretends to be Columbia freshman

Photo by Steven Lau for the Columbia Daily Spectator.

Check your friends’ ID cards, Elis — you never can tell who’s eating pancakes next to you in Commons.

For the past few weeks, a woman calling herself “Rhea Sen” has been pretending to be a freshman at Columbia University, the Columbia Daily Spectator reports. Her real name, according to authorities, is Briva Patel, and she’s not a freshman. She’s 26.

Claiming to be a student from Philadelphia, Patel attended freshman orientation events for two weeks before she was removed from campus for trespassing. Students got suspicious when she gave inconsistent dorm room info and wouldn’t provide a student ID. A Facebook page for Rhea Sen only has nine friends.

This isn’t the first time in recent memory that impostors have tried to lie their way into an Ivy. Esther Reed duped her way into Columbia as a grad student five years ago, and Yale’s own Akash Maharaj was caught falsifying his previous academic records in 2008. And who could forget Adam Wheeler, who faked his way into Harvard?

Because we know everyone’s thinking it:

  • ldffly

    Please, let’s never forget Yale’s own Andreas Alrea. Master of the forgotten language of Shumash, successful teenage businessman, and all around bon vivant. Just check the YDN Magazine from Feb. 8, 1977. I kept a copy of that one all these years. It’s one of my prized possessions. LOL

    That Harvard not be outdone, never forget a student who faked his way into the law school twice. Unfortunately, his name escapes me.

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  • dschimme

    Who could ever forget Andreas Alrea? To his credit, he fessed up.