File this one under “creepy” in the archives. A phony med student at the University of Auckland has university officials rethinking their ID card protocols after the student attended lectures and conducted cadaver dissections as part of a program he was not admitted to.
The man enrolled as a biomedical science student in 2010, but after his application to the university’s medical school was formally rejected, he pretended he had been accepted and began attending lectures, tutorials and even worked on group assignments with legitimate med students.
The man’s uncanny state of denial was only uncovered when he was paired with another student for a laboratory assignment and both had to provide their ID numbers. The university was unable to determine how the man gained access to its restricted areas without an active student ID card, but suspected he tailgated valid students.
The Faculty of Health and Medical Health Sciences has since worked with the university to make student ID cards and name badges clearer. Moreover, the university has made changes to avoid a repeat incident, including police vetting of enrolled medical students and a costly revamp of student ID cards.
Within the med school itself, tutors in the program’s human anatomy laboratory sessions now verify that students are valid, and random checks against the official university student database will be instituted.
According to university officials, the man was able to carry on the charade for nearly two academic years during 2011 and 2012. The New Zealand Herald outlines the extraordinary and bizarre efforts that the student went to avoid revealing his true identity.
The student attended lectures and participated in the human anatomy laboratory, where students dissect cadavers. He also participated in clinical skills lessons, which included non-sensitive examinations of other students.
Perhaps most troubling, is that the student travelled to a local hospital with other students, but the university insists there is no evidence of any contact with patients.
The fake student has since been served a trespass notice by police, but the university ruled that his behavior was unlikely to be criminal in nature.