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Man Poses as Tech Reporter at Dorms

By Frank Dabek
News Editor

An individual misrepresenting himself as a reporter for The Tech, a Northeastern student, and a freshman was seen at several dormitory rush events yesterday.

The individual, who identified himself as Dan Preston, talked with residents and participated in events but caused no damage or harm beyond raising the suspicions of residents. He was later asked to leave campus by Campus Police.

Jennifer A. Frank '00, rush chair of East Campus, said that Preston was at East Campus' carnival during the afternoon. "He was being helpful, so it didn't bother me that he was around," she said.

Frank described Preston as around six feet tall, 165 pounds, with glasses and a scraggly beard. She said that Preston dyed his beard green at EC's carnival.

According to Frank, Preston claimed that he was a freelance reporter for The Tech. Frank said that it was "obvious that he wasn't a freshmen, EC resident, or alum."

In fact, The Tech has no freelance reporters, according to Josh Bittker '99, chairman of The Tech.

James W. Clark '99, a rush worker at EC, said that Preston was "friendly" and "helped us cook at the grill flipping burgers."

Preston was later seen at Baker House where Misha K. Hill G said that Preston identified himself as a "Northeastern University graduate student helping The Tech out with rush stories." Hill said that Preston took a tour of Baker and left. Preston "didn't cause any problems," he said.

Hill doubted Preston's story when he noticed that the supposed Northeastern student was wearing a Boston College shirt and a UMass hat.

Later in the evening, around 8 p.m., Preston was seen at Next House posing as a freshman. Susan L. Yan '01, Next House rush chair, said that Preston was seen at the dorm "just talking to frosh and rush workers."

Yan said that dorm workers interrogated Preston and received questionable answers. Preston reported that he was planning to major in "solar engineering," and had already obtained a job through the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program.

He also claimed he was born in Germany, though dorm workers noted that Preston did not have a German accent.

Yan instructed her workers to detain Preston, who expressed interest in seeing rooms, on the first floor. She then called the CPs who asked him for identification and searched him. The CPs then asked Preston to leave the campus.

Chief of the Campus Police Anne P. Glavin said that she had "no incident reports" concerning Preston but did say that there had been a report of an individual pretending to be a student who was asked to leave a "game room" in a west campus living group. She was not sure if this individual was Preston.

Glavin said that living groups experiencing problems with intruders not affiliated with MIT should contact Campus Police.