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Shameful star chambers

By Bettina Arndt - posted Tuesday, 28 June 2022

In a recent judgement about a sexual misconduct case at Cornell University the judge compared the campus disciplinary committees to the infamous English Star Chambers. He warned that “these threats to due process and academic freedom are matters of life and death for our great universities.”  

We too should be regarding what’s happening at our universities with utmost seriousness. Our universities have wrongly taken it upon themselves to set aside our criminal law system and put in its place their own star chambers where administrators make life-changing decisions about accused young men, derailing their education and publicly shaming them.

This is happening every week in Australia simply because our lily-livered universities are too afraid to stand up to the feminist bullies demanding action in response to the fake campaign claiming a rape culture on campus.


For two years now I have been helping a young man being persecuted by a NSW regional university. I’ll call him “Andrew” to protect his privacy - critical now that he has finally received his degree and with great relief left the university to start a new job and a new life. He’s made a podcast with me, bravely deciding to tell his story as a cautionary tale to male students, warning of dangers awaiting them at our universities. Having witnessed the ruthless behaviour of our universities I regretfully decided to delete the name of this institution from the podcast rather than hold back on my commentary for fear of legal attack. Please listen to this important podcast and help me circulate it.

For Andrew it all started one night in March 2020, when he was a 22-year-old final year pharmacy student. It was a typical student gathering involved a bunch of kids, including other pharmacy students, happily drinking together. But one female student whom I will call “Fran” went overboard and ended up vomiting and needing help to get back to her room at the college. A few students went with her, got her settled in bed and then asked Andrew to keep an eye on her.

Andrew’s version of events, accepted by the court, was that when they were left alone, Fran suddenly became amorous, kissing Andrew, taking her pants off and trying to undress him. He protested, telling her he had a girlfriend, but she persisted in pulling his pants down. That’s when the other students walked in on them. Fran’s friends quickly took control, demanding Andrew leave, despite Fran’s protest that he hadn’t done anything wrong and there was no need for him to go.

Despite this abrupt end to the evening initially there seemed no negative repercussions, with Andrew having friendly social media exchanges with Fran where she showed no sign of any concern. What Andrew didn’t know was that Fran’s friends were at work, rewriting the history of the evening, and persuading Fran to make a complaint to the head of the college.

That happened and the university leapt into action and started conducting its own investigation. Think about that. Here we have administration people, not legally trained, blundering around, encouraging the young women to come up with their own versions of events that evening. Suddenly there was the suggestion that Fran’s drink might have been spiked and that she was in and out of consciousness. Unsurprisingly, the whole scandal took on a life of its own and by the time the police were involved and sworn witness statements taken, these colourful additions were part of the story.  


It doesn’t take a lawyer to understand how that compromises the basic principles of police investigation. But that was just the beginning.

Banned from the university

Andrew knew nothing about what was going on until two months later when he suddenly received a call from university administration telling him he was excluded from the college and university campus until what was now a criminal matter was determined.

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This article was first published on Bettina Arndt.

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About the Author

Bettina Arndt is a social commentator.

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