A pretty odd story that has the makings of a streaming series just unfolded on the Stanford University campus, where a pretend student from Alabama had convinced pretty much everyone around him that he was enrolled at the school and lived in one of the dorms.
A non-student whom the Stanford Daily identified as William Curry had been living in the basement of Crothers Hall since the beginning of the academic year — in an area used to house students temporarily when their dorm rooms were for some reason uninhabitable or unavailable. And he was first cited by the university's Department of Public Safety back in December 2021, for illegally living in another dorm.
Students say they all believed Curry's story about being pre-med and on the track team, and being on a scholarship from the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation. Per the Stanford Daily, "sympathetic RAs" regularly let Curry into Crothers Hall since he apparently didn't have a key card of his own — and they say they repeatedly asked the university for a list of students assigned to live in the building's basement. They say they were told that such a list would be a violation of student privacy.
"Without such a roster, we ultimately can’t verify who should and shouldn’t be in the dorm," an RA wrote in the dorm's Slack, per the Daily. "This is a policy we have pushed back against and will continue to push back against."
Curry was apparently singled out after a television went missing from a common area in the Crothers Hall basement.
It's not entirely clear how long Curry had been impersonating a student. A current student at Stanford, Graham Johnstone, told the Daily that he went to high school with Curry in a suburb of Birmingham, Alabama, and Curry was two years ahead of him. Curry apparently told people in his hometown that he was recruited to run for Stanford Track & Field — something people doubted because Curry's grades were apparently not good, and nor were his track times. But Johnstone met up with Curry and sent photos home to prove he was, in fact, there.
Did he go to classes? Did he go to all the parties? There are many questions.
As NBC Bay Area reports, Stanford's Department of Public Safety had issued multiple "stay-away" letters to Curry — which are a prerequisite for a trespassing citation.
The university says it is reviewing its procedures to prevent a similar incident in the future.
Photo: Jason Leung