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Monday, April 12, 2021

Former ANU student sues college for failing duty of care

A former resident of ANU’s John XXIII College cried today as she told the ACT Supreme Court she woke up in her room alone, confused and unsettled, with her jeans unzipped, underwear pushed down, and very little memory after a night of “pub golf” in 2015.

She said she was lost as to how she got back to her room and was scared to find out.

The woman is suing John XXIII College at ANU for failing in its duty of care and alleges a group of heavily intoxicated students were told by John XXIII staff to “clear out” after the on-campus leg of the function.

She said she drank “free poured” vodka mixers from “American style” red cups for more than an hour.

She said a third-year student had set up buckets for students to vomit in in their room and one girl had hit her head in the bathrooms before she left.

The woman said the second round of the game took place at the Uni Pub where the rules were to drink two drinks on each of the floors and she didn’t remember much after that.

The court heard that 10 days after the event, the woman was told by a fellow residential college student that a male in her dormitory had claimed he had sex with her that night in an alley way.

“I was really shocked and scared and couldn’t comprehend what she was telling me,” she said.

“I was very upset and crying, I might have slept in her room that night.”

She said she confronted the male student on 19 August, 12 days after the alleged incident.

“I wanted to hear it for myself,” she said.

She said she had two mobile phones in her pocket recording the conversation.

“I was very uncomfortable and nervous, really, really uncomfortable.

“I knocked on his door and said ‘can I talk to you?’

“I said, ‘did we have sex in the alley way’, and he said ‘yes’.

“He said ‘do you not remember that’?

“I said ‘no, I didn’t remember that’.

“I said I was very uncomfortable and asked that he not come near me.”

The woman spoke of a culture of drinking at the residential campus during 2014-2015. 

She said getting drunk at John XXIII events was the rule not the exception.

“All events at college were drinking events,” she said. “It was a social activity and I wanted to be involved.”

The woman told the court Mooseheads had special drinks for John XXIII College students called Dingoes and Tusks.

The case continues.

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