The first weeks of freshman year can be daunting. While dewy-eyed students get used to a new school or a new city, some try to recreate themselves anew, leaving behind their high school selves and becoming a college kid. This could mean buying a new wardrobe, a new haircut, or hanging up a Pulp Fiction poster. For some, however, it may involve pretending to go to a school that you do not actually attend for two weeks.
On Monday morning, the Columbia Daily Spectator reported on the Thursday-night arrest of a young woman who had been attending classes and orientation events at Columbia under the name of Rhea Sen. Columbia news blog Bwog later reported that the woman, a 26-year-old whose real name is Briva Patel, has been charged with misdemeanor criminal trespass.
An NYPD spokesperson told The Observer that Ms. Patel was arrested again at Columbia University on Saturday and charged with criminal contempt for violating an order of protection barring her from the campus, as well as with a second criminal trespass charge. According to the District Attorney’s office, Patel has been arraigned and released, with her next court date set for November 29.
According to Spectator and Bwog, Ms. Patel accessed orientation events for international and domestic students by saying that she had lost her ID. The Spectator reports that students and administrators were suspicious about her after she gave conflicting accounts of where she lived on campus.
It is unclear where Ms. Patel slept during her time pretending to be a student.