Campus Watch

Two squatters at Stanford

Here's one for the books: The Stanford Daily reported late last week that a fairly unassuming girl whom everyone had taken to be a prototypical freshman living in the Stanford dorms was not actually a Stanford student but a squatter who lived in residence halls on the Farm for eight months without anyone getting wise.

Azia Kim, 18, graduated from a prestigious high school in Fullerton, Calif. in 2007 and showed up in a Stanford dorm right before new student orientation in September. She found two girls to crash with on a temporary basis, telling them that she had moved out of a different dorm because she hadn't gotten along with her roommate. She stayed there throughout the fall and winter and moved to a different dorm in the spring when a space in another room became vacant. Since her roommate spent most nights with her boyfriend, Kim, who didn't have a key to the room, would climb in through the window.

All the while she kept up the charade of being a Stanford freshman, buying textbooks for classes she wasn't enrolled in and even joining an ROTC program, which issued her more than $1,000 in military gear, according to a second Daily article that ran Tuesday. She was allowed to join ROTC after providing military officials with a forged transcript that showed she was earning mostly A's and even received an ROTC award for good scholarship.

The jig was finally up after a suspicious RA e-mailed Stanford housing services early last week. The Housing staff sent an e-mail to Kim's roommate explaining the situation, which Kim detected and promptly deleted from her roommate's computer.

Azia Kim could be charged $175 per day for her unauthorized stay in the dorm, meaning the eight-month sojourn could cost her up to $42,000.

Why doesn't this kind of thing ever happen at Boise State University?

"Friends aren't sure of her motive for sneaking onto campus and living a lie," The Daily reported, "but many speculate that she felt pressure from overbearing parents to attend Stanford — regardless of whether she was admitted."

There must be something magnetic about Stanford, because The Daily reported Tuesday that a second squatter, Elizabeth Okazaki, has been barred from the campus physics lab. This squatter, also female, had apparently been living in the lab "sporadically" for four years, according to the newspaper. No word as to whether the University plans to charge her for those stays.

Cal State Apocalypto screening turns ugly

It was supposed to be a harmless screening of Mel Gibson's Apocalypto. With Gibson as a special guest, it turned into an ugly culture clash.

Students at California State University-Northridge gathered for a Q and A session with Gibson before a screening of Apocalypto at an on-campus theater late last week. The film, released in 2006, provides a fictional but somewhat historical account of the decline of Mayan civilization before the Spanish arrived in 1519.

According to The Daily Sundial, the student newspaper at Cal State-Northridge, Gibson claimed the film was more or less historically accurate, saying "I got a bit of a hard time for accuracies, but that was bullshit ... I did my research." But that's not the point. The bottom line is that when Cal State-Northridge Central American studies professor Alicia Estrada commented that the portrayal of Mayans in the film was racist, Gibson lost it, telling her, "I think you're a fucking troublemaker, so fuck off."

Even more disturbing is that when the leader of the Mayan community at Cal State-Northridge tried to translate the professor's question into Spanish for a portion of the audience, he was drowned out by audience members who booed and called for them to sit down and shut up, the article reported. In the wake of Gibson's profanity-laced response, "Audience members clapped and cheered, one even turning to Estrada and clapping in her face."

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